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Drunk Driving Declines in Rochester Michigan

by ptbarone on June 3, 2010

The Rochester Post has just reported that the number of people drunk driving in Rochester Michigan is down significantly this year.  According to the article:

Data collected over the past two years shows a pattern of decline for drivers caught operating while intoxicated, said Rochester Police Chief Steve Schettenhelm. According to the city’s records, there were 161 such arrests in 2008, an average of about 13 per month. In 2009, there were 132, or approximately 11 per month. As of this month, there have only been 31 in 2010, which comes out to about six per month.

The article is light on explanations for the decrease in drunk driving in Rochester Michigan:

“Arrests are down so far this year. There can be a number of reasons for this,” he said. “Traditionally, arrests pick up in the summer months. So we are down some for the year, but we will have to wait and see if this is a consistent trend.

“The economy may have an effect on the number of people who are out drinking and driving,” he said.

Rochester Detective Paul Matynka said that because of the city’s nightlife amenities, drunken driving arrests generally increase over the weekends.

There is also a claim that although the arrests are down, it has no impact on the police budget.

Schettenhelm said that while the Rochester Police Department does get a percentage of the court fines paid by drunken driving offenders, the decrease in arrests over the past year and a half hasn’t affected revenues.

“We do receive some funds from the court in terms of fines … (but) the money is not really a consideration, considering the total police budget,” he said.

Previous posts have addressed this issue, and suggest that there are many possible causes for fewer Michigan DUI arrests.  For an article discussing the decrease in DUI arrests in Michigan in detail, and offer several explanations, please see:

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