Survey: DUI arrests fell sharply last year across Chicago, suburbs

DUI arrest

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A survey of police departments found DUI arrests across Chicago and several suburbs fell sharply last year as many people stayed home.

According to the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists, Chicago saw a 30 percent drop in DUI arrests by Chicago police last year. Then in Aurora, there was a 61 percent drop, while Rockford and Elgin saw a 40 percent drop.

Executive Director Rita Kreslin said she was expecting decreases.

"Less and less people on the roads and going to the bars, they weren't doing that, so there was less traffic. The statistics are telling me, alcohol sales went up, people may or may not have been drinking more at home," she said.

Kreslin said numbers have been going down, but this steep decline she also attributes to police departments reallocating officers to other issues and a reluctance to pull people over because of COVID concerns and tensions between police and the public.

She wonders how people who drank more at home will act as they return closer to normal.

"If there was more of that going on and there's been some bad habits forming, now that people are heading back out are they changing those habits before getting into their cars?" she said.

Not all departments saw decreases. DUI arrests were up in Waukegan, and also rose statewide by state police.