DUI study reveals differing arrest rates across suburbs
A survey of more than 500 Illinois police agencies revealed Itasca police made the most DUI arrests on a per-officer basis in 2011, while other departments such as Mundelein have seen a dip in the number of arrests.
The yearly study, which was released Tuesday by the Schaumburg-based Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists, intends on giving recognition to the most productive departments in the state and the most productive individual officers.
"More DUI arrests in a municipality or county do not necessarily mean there are more drunk drivers in these locations than in other communities," said Charlene Chapman, the organization's executive director. "It does indicate a more active enforcement effort targeting DUI by those police departments compared to other departments."
Of departments that made at least 200 DUI arrests in 2011, Itasca officers were more than twice as efficient as the next agency on the list. Itasca's 23 officers made 11.48 arrests per officer in 2011, while Carol Stream was second in the rankings with its 62 officers making on average 5.63 arrests last year.
The arrests per officer statistic is an indicator of a department's emphasis on DUI enforcement, according to the alliance.
Itasca also had the greatest percent change in total DUI arrests from 2010 to 2011, jumping from 182 arrests in 2010 to 264 in 2011. The 45.1 percent increase was the second-highest behind Fairview Heights, near St. Louis.
Mundelein, which has 52 sworn officers, saw a decrease in DUI arrests for the third straight year. The Mundelein Police Department made 223 DUI arrests in 2011, down from 434 in 2008. In 2008, Mundelein's 54 officers had a rate of 8.04 DUI arrests per officer, while in 2011 the rate was nearly half that at 4.29 DUI arrests per officer. The department cut two officers between those years and had 52 in 2011.
Departments with notable declines in DUI arrests from 2010 to 2011 include Waukegan, a 32.2 percent decrease; Palatine, a 16.4 percent decrease; and Elgin, a 14.1 percent decrease.
The Addison Police Department experienced a significant decline in the number of DUI arrests between 2008 and 2011, with its officers making 336 in 2008 and 221 in 2011. The department's force dropped from 72 sworn officers to 65 during that period.
Naperville officers made the most DUI arrests in 2011 outside of Rockford and Chicago, which has its own category. Naperville officers made 622 arrests
The organization received a grant from the Illinois Department Transportation to conduct the survey, which it began conducting in 1990. The alliance surveyed nearly 700 agencies, and 76 percent of them responded.