Saturday, January 23, 2016

Driving drunk citations on the rise

Police say DUIs are spiking in Marion and Crittenden County.

Marion Police Chief Ray O’Neal says there is no common denominator, but over a nine-day period starting Jan. 9, city police cited four motorist for driving under the influence.
That is double the normal number of citations for an entire month. Last year, the city made 27 DUI arrests. 

“We usually have one or two a month,” the chief said. “I don’t really know what to attribute it to, but we’ve had a lot since the first of the year.”

Sheriff's deputies have also seen an increase in DUIs since the holidays. 

First-offense DUI is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail, a mandatory substance abuse program, 30 to 120 days license suspension and possible community service. Penalties increase on subsequent offenses. A fourth-offense within a five-year period is a Class D felony with minimum jail time of 120 days. 

For the rest of this article, see this week's printed edition of The Crittenden Press, on sale now at area newsstands.