Top Department in DUI Arrests for 2002

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Since 1990, the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists (AAIM) has conducted an annual survey of Illinois police departments to determine how many DUI arrests they make and to give recognition to the most productive departments and police officers. The most important deterrent to drunk driving is law enforcement. AAIM not only praises these departments and individual officers, but we also want to encourage them to keep up the fight against drunk driving.

Naperville Police Department has finished first in the state in DUI arrests among municipal departments. (Because of its size, Chicago is in its own category.) Naperville has been a perennial top-ten police department in AAIM's DUI ranking. According to Chief David Dial, his department has made a concerted effort to find and arrest drunk drivers and it's paid off. They also have a strict enforcement policy that applies to everyone.
In 2002, Naperville officers arrested 961 DUI offenders. Waukegan was second with 915 arrests, followed by Rockford (738), Cicero (632), Elgin (538), Chicago Heights (535), Buffalo Grove (510), Rock Island (510) and Hoffman Estates (504).

The highest DUI arrest rate in the state among departments making at least 100 arrests was Caseyville which had 17.0 arrests per sworn officer. The second highest rate of 16.8 was in Grayslake. Lake Co. contains six of the top 15 departments by arrest rate.
Cicero Police Officer Lawrence Polk was Illinois' Top Cop with 283 DUI arrests.
AAIM also commends the life-saving efforts of Chicago Police Officers John Haleas with 242 arrests and William Cooper with 236 arrests, Rockford Police Officer Eddie Torrance with 195 arrests. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) will recognize these top cops at a ceremony to be held in Springfield in October. "When police chiefs make it a priority to get impaired drivers off the roads, lots of arrests are made," said Chapman.

In a familiar pattern, the regions of the state with the strongest DUI enforcement (one-half of the departments) are DuPage Co., which accounts for ten of the state's top departments and Lake Co., which also accounts for ten departments. The Northwest suburbs account for six of the state's top departments (Hoffman Estates - 9th, Schaumburg - 11th, Rolling Meadows - 15th, Hanover Park - 18th, Palatine - 37th, and Elk Grove Village - 40th). There are five south suburban departments in the top (Chicago Heights - 6th, Aurora - 12th, Oak Lawn - 21st, Bridgeview - 40th and Orland Park - 41st ), and only one near west suburban department (Cicero - 4th).

"More DUI arrests in the Northwest suburbs and in DuPage and Lake Counties don't necessarily mean there are more drunk drivers in those regions than in the rest of the state," said AAIM Executive Director Charlene Chapman. "It does indicate a more active enforcement effort targeting DUI by those departments compared to other departments."

The size of the department isn't the key factor, Chapman said, noting that some departments with fewer than 40 officers (such as Lake Zurich and Roselle) make far more DUI arrests than departments with more than 170 officers (such as Evanston and Decatur).
The biggest increases in arrests among the top departments were in Chicago Heights where DUI arrests jumped by 80% in 2002 compared to 2001 (last year jumped 223%), Highland Park (68%), Wauconda (67%), Carol Stream (62%) and Bridgeview (60%). "It's highly unlikely that such big increases in arrests indicate corresponding increases in impaired drivers on the roads in those towns; it just means more of them were being detected and arrested last year compared to previous years," Chapman said.

Chicago police made more arrests in 2002 (6,470) than in 2001 (6,016)), while Illinois State Police decreased arrests by 18% in 2002 (8,265) compared to 2001 (10,049). The sheriff's department reporting the most DUI arrests was in Lake County (556), while Boone (378), Will (373), Winnebago (350) and DuPage (297) counties round out the top five sheriff departments. (Cook County failed to respond to the survey.)

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