Diverging Trends in DUI Arrests In McLean County | WGLT

Diverging Trends in DUI Arrests In McLean County

Feb 18, 2020

Bloomington Police averaged nearly one DUI arrest per day last year. The department's 349 drunk-driving arrests mark a record for the department and 43% increase over 2018.

BPD Chief Dan Donath said he's concerned there will be more impaired drivers on the road now that marijuana is legal.

“People know the law and they know those things exist but yet they still do it,” Donath said. “So I don’t think cannabis will be very much different.”

The department’s previous high was 300 in 2016.

Normal Police reports sharp declines in DUI rates in recent years. The department recorded 292 arrests in 2015. That number fell to 188 in 2018 and 142 last year. 

Normal Police Chief Rick Bleichner said he believes the increased use of ride-sharing services has likely contributed to the decrease. 

"There's not as much need to have to drive in those situations anymore," Bleichner said. "I think that has certainly played a role in it." 

The town also saw a five-year low of alcohol-related crashes last year with 19. That's a 50% drop from 2017 when the town had 38 alcohol-related crashes. 

The McLean County Sheriff's Department reports a 25% drop from 2018 (279 to 208) but the total is higher than 2015 and 2016 levels.