Law enforcement authorities for the town of Albertville in northwest Alabama have reported an almost 30-percent increase in the frequency of DUI arrests over the past eight months of 2009. As a Birmingham drunk driving defense lawyer, I don't find this trend very surprising.
With job losses pushing a two-decade high and home foreclosures continuing to take their toll on families here and across the U.S., many people are turning to alcohol as a way to dull the painful realities of our faltering economy. Sadly, when people drink and drive they not only risk their own lives, but those of other motorists as well.
Police officers in Albertville made a total of 249 drunk driving arrests in all of 2008. That's and average of 20.75 arrests every month. For the comparison, Albertville law enforcement officers have logged 214 DUI arrests in just first eight months of 2009 — a monthly average of 26.75 arrests. All in all, that's nearly one-third more DUI arrests than the previous year. And if the current rate continues, DUI arrests could top 320 by the end of the year.
Of course, the economy could also have something to do with the increase, but not because of the aforementioned reasons. Could it be that because home prices and incomes are dropping, taxes for municipalities have dwindled? If so, heightened police patrols could be one way for a small town to increase revenues.
According to the news article, Albertville's police chief, Benny Womack, said he has noticed the upward trend in DUI arrests. “It has a lot to do with being proactive,” Womack said. “Our officers are being more proactive, watching for signs and individuals driving recklessly. “There's also the aspect that people seem to be drinking and driving more. They need to know if they do that, they're going to get caught.”
Regardless of the cause, anyone arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol should retain a qualified DUI defense attorney to handle his or her case. The financial impact and long-term consequences of a drunk driving conviction can be significant.
Albertville DUI arrests on the rise, sandmountainreporter.com, September 12, 2009