Drunk driving is a problem throughout the United States. It is the cause of injuries, death, damages and devastating legal consequences. Individuals who are tempted to get behind the wheel after a few drinks should think again. Prevention is always better than the alternative. In the state of Illinois, the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists (AAIM), an activist group founded by drunk driving victims, released an annual report on DUI arrests in the state. In the report, information is shared on who is making the most DUI arrests in the state by department, county, city, and even by cop. Check out the facts and figures below, along with important DUI information.
AAIM Statistics for DUI Arrests
2015 DUI Counts
Illinois State Police (statewide): 6,584 Arrests
Chicago Police: 3,315 Arrests
Secretary of State Police: 5 Arrests
2015 Top Arrests By County
Lake: 367 Arrests
Cook: 331 Arrests
Winnebago: 278 Arrests
2015 Top Arresting Cops
Eric David, Trooper: 310 DUI Arrests
Timothy Walter, Officer: 232 DUI Arrests
Elliot Tupayachi, Officer: 226 DUI Arrests
2015 Top Arrests by Municipality
Carol Stream: 464 DUI Arrests
Rockford: 464 DUI Arrests
Decatur: 405 DUI Arrests
2015 Top DUI Arrest Rate (Per Officer)
Bull Valley: 12.83
North Pekin: 8.5
Carol Stream: 7.61
2015 Top DUI Arrest Rate (Per Officer) By County
What Do These Statistics Mean?
When analyzing the statistics in AAIM’s report, a few prominent things stand out. First, Illinois police do not put up with drunk driving. Police in this state target drunk driving and want to make a statement loud and clear that it will not be tolerated. Second, due the high amount of arrests in the state of Illinois, there could be a higher likelihood of police error. Police mistakes happen, and police work is not always done properly. Police, for example, must have a reasonable suspicion to pull anyone over, and must have a probable cause to make an arrest. If police fail to follow these proper procedures, the DUI case could potentially be thrown out.
How Much Can You Drink and Still Be Legal to Drive?
While one should never try to push the limits when it comes to drinking and driving, it is important to know the legal Blood-Alcohol Content to drive. According to the DMV, 0.08% blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is the legal limit for driving under the influence. Since each person is affected differently by alcohol, some may be impaired at lowered levels between .05 and .08. If there is proof of alcohol impairment at these levels, you could be arrested. If you are under the age of 21, no amount of alcohol, no matter how small, is allowed, and you could be arrested for a DUI.
What to Do If You Get Pulled Over for a DUI
Getting pulled over by an Illinois police officer is always a nerve wracking experience. It’s especially nerve wracking when you’ve just had a few to drink. Most people in this situation are unaware of their legal rights, and in their nervousness they feel the need to spill the beans. Others, unaware of what the law requires, may fail to cooperate with the police and complicate their situation. It is important you know your rights and how you should cooperate in the event you are pulled over while driving under the influence. Here are a few tips to help you if you are ever in this situation.
- Pull safely to the right side of the road as soon as the police lights come on behind you.
- Make sure you have your license and registration ready and in plain view. Having to reach for it in your pocket or to the side of you could look as though you are reaching for a weapon.
- Place both your hands on the steering wheel of the vehicle. Doing so puts the police officer at ease and makes you look less suspicious.
- Make sure to not divulge any self-inflicting evidence. If the police officer asks if you have been drinking, recognize you are legally not required to answer. Be respectful, but do not admit if you have had a drink or not. Doing so could be evidence used against you in court.
- Be aware some of the roadside tests are voluntary. If the police officer asks you to perform physical tests, such as walking in a straight line or a verbal test, ask the police officer if they are voluntary. If they are, politely decline as these tests can give police enough of a reason to require the chemical test.
- Blood/Breath Alcohol Content testing is not recommended. Taking these tests will provide strong evidence against you in court, and make your case easy to beat. No one should ever take a breath or blood test unless they haven’t had anything to drink. Fines or penalties may be issued with your refusal to take these “required” tests, however, your case will be much better off. Consult with your DUI attorney if you have any questions before taking or refusing this test.
If in the event you are pulled over for a DUI, legal help is available. You are not required to make important decisions alone, and you are only a phone call away. If you have any questions about what is the proper action, give our attorney a call today at (708) 233-6100. For more information of what to expect with a DUI, visit our FAQ page.