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Crime & Courts

St. Charles ranks high on survey of DUI arrests for 2012

St. Charles ranks high among area communities for drunken driving arrests, according to a survey by the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists.

The group recently released the results of the survey, which has been funded by a grant from the Illinois Department of Transportation for 23 years. According to the survey, the St. Charles Police Department had 135 DUI arrests last year, placing it 48th on the list. Nearly 700 police agencies were surveyed, with 84 percent responding.

In comparison, Geneva had 48 DUI arrests last year and was ranked 106th. Batavia had 42 arrests and was ranked 112th, followed by Campton Hills, which had 38 arrests and was ranked 116th.

North Aurora had 68 DUI arrests last year and was ranked 88th. Sugar Grove had 19 DUI arrests last year and was ranked 135th, and Elburn had 13 DUI arrests and was ranked 141st.

St. Charles Police Chief Jim Lamkin said the police department has been seeing a change of behavior in people’s habits.

“Our officers are seeing more cabs downtown, especially on the weekends,” Lamkin said. “But we still have people not using the best judgment. In a perfect world, it would be great if we didn’t need DUI enforcement.”

Rita Kreslin, executive director of the AAIM, said having departments that make more DUI arrests would not necessarily mean there are more drunken drivers in Illinois communities.

“It just means that police departments have sped up efforts,” she said.

For the sixth consecutive year, the Rockford Police Department is first in the state in DUI arrests among municipal departments, with 699 arrests for 2012. Because of its size, Chicago is in its own category.

With 330 DUI arrests last year, the Aurora Police Department was ranked seventh, a 13.8 percent increase from 2011.

The DeKalb Police Department made 242 DUI arrests last year, up from 168 in 2011.

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