The loss of police officers to active duty in Iraq is partly to blame for a drop in arrests for drunken driving, says the Chicago Tribune. Five of the 10 Illinois police departments with the most arrests for driving under the influence showed decreases ranging from 6 percent to 19.1 percent last year, says an annual survey by the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists. Among reasons offered were the loss of officers for traffic patrols to National Guard and reserve call-ups and the need to shift officers to other priorities, including gang activity.
Nearly half of the top 45 departments for DUI arrests showed decreases last year. Charlene Chapman of the alliance said police departments are facing new pressures in staffing, such as homeland security training. “There’s so much emphasis on homeland security, and chiefs are under pressure to move officers out of traffic,” she said. “While homeland security and fighting gangs are important, drunken driving still kills more people than any other crime.”