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Cd’A among cities with highest DUI rates

Staff Writer | December 5, 2020 1:08 AM

Coeur d’Alene has one of the highest DUI rates in the nation, according to a new study.

Researchers with insurance comparison site Insurify found that in Coeur d’Alene, the average DUI rate is 43.48 per 1,000 drivers — about 61% higher than the national average of 17.07.

To determine the U.S. cities with the highest volume of drivers with a DUI on record, researchers analyzed more than 2.5 million car insurance applications.

The number of drivers who cited a DUI on their record within the last seven years were then compared to the total pool of car owners in more than 1,000 cities across the U.S.

The Lake City is ranked 15th nationwide, between Clovis, Calif., and Longmont, Colo.

Capt. Dave Hagar said those numbers don’t paint a complete picture, however.

About 14% of all arrests made by the Coeur d’Alene Police Department involve people who reside elsewhere, Hagar said, whether they come from out of state or from other Idaho cities.

Hagar also noted that the Coeur d’Alene Police Department emphasizes DUI enforcement, which he said could explain why there are more DUI arrests here compared to similarly-sized cities.

“We have officers whose sole job is to do DUI enforcement,” he said. “You may have another agency where it’s not their priority.”

DUI arrests in 2020 are down overall compared to last year, Hagar said.

Arrests involving only alcohol have declined about 12% since 2019, while arrests involving only drugs have dropped 17%. Hagar attributed that in part to restrictions meant to slow the spread of COVID-19 — fewer open establishments meant fewer people on the road.

Another Idaho city made Insurify’s top 20 list. Caldwell ranked 13th overall with a rate of 43.69.

Meanwhile, Idaho’s statewide DUI rate is 8.24 out of 1,000 drivers, which makes the Gem State 11th in the nation.

The top five cities in the nation with the highest DUI rates per 1,000 drivers were Gillette, W.Va., Loveland, Colo., Rochester, Minn., Bozeman, Mont. and Casper, Wyo.

In Idaho, 6% of all crashes involve an impaired driver, according to Idaho State Police.