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Atlanta DUIs Dropping for the Wrong Reason

A recent report says that DUIs in Atlanta are on the decline. This seems like good news, especially when you hear the numbers: DUIs have declined over the past 10 years across the state by 50 percent. That news is amazing, until you find out the alleged reason behind the massive drop.

Many people believe that DUIs may be dropping because people are drinking less. Some may think that the reason drunk driving rates are dropping could be thanks to the popularity of ride sharing businesses like Uber and Lyft. Our own Mike Hawkins sat down with a local reporter recently to discuss the downward trend and why he thinks the state is seeing this trend.

While tens of thousands of people in the state have downloaded apps for ride-sharing services on their smart phones, it isn’t the reason for the drastic decline in DUIs. Mike Hawkins believes that the reason that arrests are down across Georgia and the rest of the country is a lack of policing. To back up this information, Hawkins pointed out that the Atlanta Police Department recently made changes to its high intensity traffic team.

That team, once known for its DUI enforcement, has been rendered inoperational. Said the spokesperson for the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, “It’s hard to explain that you’ve got officers out on the freeway or the highway writing tickets when somebody is breaking into somebody’s house.” The men and women who were working on traffic enforcement have been moved within the police department to concentrate their efforts in the field.

The increase in violent crime in the city, combined with a lack of an adequate number of police officers, have caused the department to concentrate its efforts on crimes that are more pressing than DUI. When the department moved their officers off the road, DUI arrests declined by 26 percent. The department’s deputy chief understands the challenge, but blames a lack of resources within his department and others.

According to records, the number of state troopers on the road has dropped by 6 percent over the last year. Police agencies throughout the state, and the rest of the country in fact, are seeing the same decline. While anyone would like to see a decline in DUIs, it should not be dropping because police don’t have the resources to catch those who have decided to get behind the wheel while intoxicated.

DUI fatalities fluctuate with every passing year, sometimes going up and sometimes down. That sometimes wild difference from year to year can make it difficult for police departments to have an adequate number of officers patrolling the streets while also trying to prevent other crimes.

If you have been arrested for driving under the influence and need an attorney, reach out to our office for assistance. We will review the details of your arrest and charges and advise you of your legal options. Call now for help in scheduling your free case evaluation.

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