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DUI: A Thousand Cases
On county and city roadways we have seen it all too often. Police arrested a 24-year-old for DUI following an accident at MacArthur and Monroe late Tuesday evening.
"There was one car like--- it looked like it was up on the tree, and there was another car on the sidewalk," witness Amanda Kidd said.
Both people involved in the accident escaped with only minor injuries. Across the street it's a much different story. Last August, a motorcyclist there was hit and killed by someone who police say was driving under the influence.
"It's the type of crime where it's avoidable," Sangamon County State's Attorney John Milhiser said. " I mean-- do not drink and drive."
In Springfield there were 210 DUI accidents with injuries between 2008 and 2012. With more than a thousand DUI cases countywide each year, law enforcement officers realize things could be worse.
"We have two officers that are dedicated DUI," Springfield Police Chief Deputy Cliff Buscher said. "They don't answer the radio. They don't answer calls for service unless there's something major happening. They're out looking for DUI."
Despite their greatest efforts, drivers who are taken off the roads don't always stay away.
"We had a case several months ago right outside of the county building where an individual was driving--somebody was DUI, ran a red light, and killed somebody," Milhiser said. "That's right outside the county building."
Officers are running into drivers who abuse alcohol and many more who abuse drugs. Unlike alcohol, it doesn't matter how much or how little drugs are in a person's system. Any amount is considered driving under the influence. The best methods of testing for drugs are blood or urine samples.