According to a June 8 Chicago Tribune article titled “Cellphone patrol: More drivers report DUIs” an increasing number of DUIs and erratic driving is being reported by other drivers via cellphones.
The article points out that authorities stress they don’t make arrests strictly based on a report from a motorist; the police officer has to observe the erratic driving and have probable cause.
Indications of impaired driving can include the following:
- driving at an improper speed
- making wide turns
- drifting or weaving across lanes
- braking erratically
- driving without headlights on at night
Many officials stress that motorists should not put themselves or others at risk while trying to report another driver’s erratic driving.
The article features quotes from various suburbs and their police officials:
“People call all the time about erratic drivers,” said Roger Wilson of Skokie’s emergency dispatch center. He said the village typically receives a couple such calls every day.
According to Mundelein police Chief Raymond Rose, it has become common to receive calls from motorists observing erratic behavior.
“There are lots of them happening,” Rose said. “They follow the idea of community policing and community involvement. They’re our eyes and ears. They’re helping us and the community.”
from Highland Park:
“This is a life-safety issue,” agreed Highland Park police Cmdr. George Pfutzenreuter. “These people should be removed from the roadway.”
Since January, four tips have resulted in DUI arrests, Pfutzenreuter said.
Lt. Scott Fabbri of the Libertyville Police Department stressed, motorists should not try to stop other vehicles. He also reminded callers that they must obey speed limits and traffic signals.
In Carpentersville, dispatchers are trained “to inform the caller to continue to follow and report as long as they do not put themselves in danger,” said Cmdr. Timothy Bosshart. Dispatchers are also trained to direct callers to remove themselves from the situation if they are in danger, he added.
from Buffalo Grove:
“People are using their technology to notify us of crashes, impaired driving, even kids standing in a moving car,” said Sgt. Scott Kristiansen of the Buffalo Grove Police Department.
Also discussed in the article was an organization called “Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists,” or AAIM, of Schaumburg. Their website can be found at http://www.aaim1.org/