According to an article in the Annapolis Capitol today, “Police arresting fewer for DUI” arrests are down for DUI in Anne Arundel County. The subheadline says “Officials hope stats mean not as many are driving drunk.” This is consistent with recent national news showing that DUI arrests are down in other areas of the country, but different reasons are given. “DUI Arrests Down; Drunk Drivers Still On the Road.”
The article notes a 43% drop in DUI arrests in Anne Arundel County from 2007 to 2010 while statewide DUI arrests dropped 9% over the same period, “from 24,909 to 22,604.”
County officials interviewed for the article state they are not doing anything different.
However, the Annapolis article does concede that in 2007 “the state Police Department shuttered its Annapolis barrack and began pulling personnel from the county.” This is consistent with the Washington article which attributes a sharp decline in the number of DUI arrests to budget cuts and a reduction in the number of troopers on the road.
Montgomery County has also noticed a marked decrease in the number of drunk driving arrests. Budget cuts, disputes between the police union and the county, the elimination of the Alcohol Enforcement Unit, have all contributed to a decrease in manpower and a lack of moral in the police department. Consequently arrests are down.
This writer doubts that arrests are due to a lower incidence of drunk driving. Alcohol related fatalities were actually higher in Maryland in 2010, compared with 2009.
Caroline Cash, executive director of the Maryland office of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, said the Anne Arundel County statistics were disappointing. She noted that 177 people died last year in Maryland in drunken driving wrecks, up from 162 the year before.
If you are facing serious traffic charges in Maryland state or federal court, call Leonard R. Stamm or Johanna Leshner of Goldstein & Stamm, P.A. at 301-345-0122 for a free consultation.