Martin & Kent, L.L.C. Martin & Kent, L.L.C.

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What do DUI arrest statistics tell you?

DUI statistics can give you insights into both police and driver behavior. A sudden increase or decrease in those numbers usually suggests that there has been some change in the equation that generates DUI arrests.

And since there are few establishments with liquor licenses that go out of business, a decrease in DUI arrests is unlikely to be due to the consumption of alcoholic beverages falling off. 

Sometimes is could be related to stricter and more rigorous enforcement by a city, but one city outside of Chicago is attributing their dramatic drop in DUI arrests to their educational efforts provided by the Naperville Police Department and the Illinois Department of Transportation.

One such educational tool is the use of electronic highway information signs carrying messages reminding drivers of the number of fatal crashes attributed to drunk driving.

While Rockford has seen a decline, it still ranks in the top three departments in a survey by the Illinois Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists (AAIM), which has tracked DUI arrests in the state since 1990.

DuPage County ranked tenth for DUI arrests and had a lower rate per officer than some counties, but still managed a higher arrest rate per officer than the City of Chicago.

However, aside from suggesting the amount of focus placed by a department on apprehending DUI suspects, the raw numbers may be of little interest to an individual driver, especially if you have been stopped and charged with a DUI.

And simply because some counties or departments have higher arrest rates does not always guarantee a higher conviction rate, as sometimes an emphasis on DUI arrests can lead to officers becoming too eager to make arrests.

Given the severe consequences that can accompany a DUI arrest and conviction, anyone stopped should discuss those potential consequences with an attorney prior to accepting a plea.

Source: chicagotribune.com, "Cops: Falling Naperville DUI arrests a good thing," Bill Bird, Naperville Sun, July 2, 2015

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