The Naperville Police Department for over a decade has been ranked in the top three among Illinois law enforcement agencies where making the most drunken-driving arrests is concerned, according to surveys compiled annually by the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists.
And while Rockford police have had bragging rights for six years in a row where the No. 1 spot is concerned, Naperville remains close behind, showing up this year at No. 2.
The AAIM survey results, released last week, revealed Rockford police in 2012 made 699 DUI arrests. in 2012. Naperville was a respectable second with 576 arrests, followed by Springfield at 460, Peoria with 426, Decatur at 408, Carol Stream with 389, Aurora at 330, Elmhurst with 324, Rock Island at 323 and Normal with 322. Chicago is too large a city to be considered in the AAIM survey.
DeKalb notched the biggest increase in DUI arrests, with a 44 percent rise in 2012. DUI arrests also were up 13.8 percent in Aurora, the survey results showed.
Itasca could claim making the most DUI arrests on a per-officer basis. according to the AAIM data. Police there had almost 12 arrests per sworn officer.
AAIM since 1990 has surveyed police agencies “to determine how many DUI arrests they make and to give recognition to the most productive departments and police officers,” an AAIM news release stated. “Nearly 700 police agencies were surveyed with 84 percent responding.”
“Departments that make more DUI arrests do not necessarily pinpoint more drunk drivers in Illinois communities,” said Rita Kreslin, AAIM’s executive director. “It does indicate additional active enforcement in municipalities and counties, which aids in targeting DUI offenders.”
“One reason AAIM continues to survey and report the number of impaired driving arrests throughout Illinois is because traffic safety advocates believe that drunk drivers who are arrested are the fortunate ones. In our impaired driving prevention programs, we always remind people that if they are driving drunk they are lucky if it is a cop that stops them, rather than a tree, another car or a small child,” said Marti Belluschi, AAIM board vice president and a traffic crash survivor.