Illinois cities with the most DUI arrests in 2016

Jul 02, 2017

The Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists has released its 27th annual survey of drunken driving arrests in Illinois.

Nearly 700 police departments from across the state were surveyed in the group’s 2016 DUI arrest survey, which received a response rate of 81 percent.

AAIM, a nonprofit citizens action group, was founded in 1982 by victims of drunken driving with the help of former Gov. Jim Edgar, who at the time was secretary of state and led legislative efforts to crack down on intoxicated motorists by establishing the state’s first citizens task force. The survey has been conducted since 1990 and is funded by a grant from the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Rita Kreslin, executive director of AAIM, hailed the progress that has been made in the 20 years since the passage of legislation that lowered the blood alcohol concentration limit from .10 to .08.

“While the progress is encouraging, the battle to eliminate driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is far from over. AAIM is concerned about the drug use of drivers and the risks drugs pose to crash involvement and traffic safety,” Kreslin said in a press release. “The complex problem of reducing impaired driving has many facets, including law enforcement training, public awareness strategies, proper prosecution and adjudication to help prevent the senselessness of impaired motor vehicle crashes.”

The Illinois State Police reported 5,619 DUI arrests in 2016, a 14.7 percent decrease compared to the 6,584 arrests made during the previous year. With 1,663 sworn officers, that equals a drunken driving arrest rate of 3.38 per officer.

DUI arrests made by the Chicago Police Department last year totaled 2,592, down nearly 22 percent from the 3,315 arrests in 2015. The DUI arrest rate per sworn officer, of which there were 12,104, was 0.21.

The Secretary of State Police, which focuses on enforcing laws on vehicle registration and sales of motor vehicles and parts, also figured into the statistics, but only reported four arrests compared to five the previous year.


Among top departments, or those with more than 200 DUI arrests, that saw the highest percentage point increase between 2015 and 2016 were Elgin, 34.7 percent; Bloomington, 31 percent; Lombard, 13.1 percent; Joliet, 11.6 percent; and Oak Lawn, 2.3 percent.

The chart below shows which other cities had the most significant percent change over the year.

AAIM Survey 2016

Excluding Chicago, the Rockford Police Department recorded the most DUI arrests last year with 459 drunk drivers taken off the streets. Coming in second was the Decatur Police Department, which notched 401 arrests. Elgin (365), Naperville (312), Carol Stream (305) and Cicero (305) rounded out the Top 5 law enforcement agencies with the most DUI arrests.

AAIM Survey 2016 chart 2

And here’s a look at the Top 25 counties in which local law enforcement agencies reported the most DUI arrests:

Because more populated cities and counties tend to have more DUI arrests in terms of absolute numbers, we used AAIM’s data to see which had the most per 1,000 people. Using U.S. Census population estimates, the following list and map rank the Top 25 towns with the most arrests per 1,000 residents.

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