Activist state

Decatur Leads the State Again in Drunk Driving Arrests | public safety

DECATUR — The Decatur Police Department’s record for driving under the influence arrests is the highest in the state among municipal police departments, again.

The municipal police recorded 353 arrests for 2021, recorded by The Alliance Against Drunk Driverswhich describes itself as a “citizen activist group” watching the numbers.

And Decatur Police also topped the AAIM DUI arrest rankings the previous year, with 344 arrests.

The AAIM also reported that the Macon County Sheriff’s Office did well in total arrests for DUI in 2021, finishing fourth among sheriff’s departments with 218 arrests.

McLean County came fifth out of 179 arrests, while Bloomington had 252 impaired driving arrests in 2021, ranking 6th on the list. Bloomington was also No. 6 the previous year, with 254 drunk driving arrests in 2020.

Chicago, due to its large size, is judged in its own category, and the Windy City saw its drunk driver arrests drop 27.6% to 1,622 in 2021 from 2,240 in 2020.

Decatur Police say 5 people were arrested for impaired driving over St. Patrick’s Day weekend

The number of impaired driving arrests by Illinois state police, on the other hand, rose 10.9% to 6,596 in 2021 from 5,947 the previous year.

And while the AAIM wants all arrest numbers to be even higher, it says the totals obtained are important because they represent unsafe drivers removed from the roads.

“Progress has been made to help eliminate the ravages of impaired driving in Illinois,” said Rita Kreslin, executive director of AAIM. “Although frustratingly slow, many lives have been saved.”

Decatur Police Chief Shane Brandel said removing DUI drivers remains a top priority. “I am proud of the men and women of DPD for their efforts,” he added. “It’s their accomplishment.”

The AAIM said the single cop with the most DUI arrests in 2021 was Illinois State Trooper Eric David with 298.

Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid