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When DUI Arrests Go Up, ‘DUI-Related” Collisions Go Down: A Correlation Not Tied to Convictions

In Glendale, California DUI arrests are up 103%. Officer Bryan Duncan, a Glendale policeman awarded for netting around 100 DUI-related arrests this year, is partially responsible for the percentage increase. Duncan is a lauded DUI specialist who received a Traffic Safety Excellence Award from the California Office of Traffic Safety and a Mothers Against Drunk Driving award. He heads a team of officers specifically focused on individuals driving under the influence. In line with the spike in DUI arrests, DUI-related traffic collisions are down by 24% in Glendale, which is due to officers getting motorists off the road “before they hurt or kill somebody,” Duncan said. This type of preventative logic is reminiscent of a Virginia law recently passed that requires all first DUI offenders to install an ignition interlock device in their car. The reform was inspired by similar laws which showed that requiring an ignition interlock device after a first DUI offense reduced recidivism. Of course, if you’ve been drinking and you can’t start your car, you can’t be pulled over for another DUI. Similarly, if drivers are being swept off the street for suspicion of DUI, “DUI-related” collisions will probably reduce. Unlike arrests and convictions, the percentage of DUI arrests and DUI-related collisions rise and fall together.

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