Drunken-driving arrests becoming rare in Boston
Boston police last year made 241 drunken driving arrests, or just two every three days, a sharp decline from recent years and far fewer than in cities of similar size, raising questions about how aggressively police are patrolling city roads.I wonder how many drunk driving arrests they actually made but were forced to let go because it was the son/daughter/niece/nephew of a Boston pol?
Since 2009, in fact, arrests for impaired driving have fallen by one-third, to a total that pales in comparison with other jurisdictions. Denver, which has a slightly lower population, made more than 3,000 arrests last year. Police in Charlotte, N.C., a somewhat larger city in a smaller metro region, made nearly 1,600. Arrests in Philadelphia were nearly 20 times as high as Boston, according to arrest figures obtained by the Globe.
I love the Boston PD's response. Hey, Boston's a walking city! The staties patrol the highways! A friend came in from out of town! My patrol car had a flat tire! IT WASN'T OUR FAULT!!! Look, I could buy that response if the Boston PD arrest rate was, say, 75% of a comparably sized metropolitan area. Might even go half. But less than 10% of Denver? 1/20 that of Philadelphia? No, there's something definitively wrong there.
I mean, it's pretty obvious that we don't treat drinking and driving like the problem it really is, not when we have folks getting their 5th/6th/7th/etc. offense. It's definitely in the "until they kill someone" category - we don't really treat it like a problem until there's a dead body. What bothers me, though, is that this is one of those crimes that we simply choose to ignore unless something horrific happens.
241 arrests compared to thousands in similarly sized cities, though, is abysmal. That's pretty much dereliction of duty - less than one drunk driver a night in a city with as many bars as Boston? It's hard to imagine that so few people in Boston are going out and getting behiond the wheel while drunk - it's a lot easier to imagine that they're either being let off with a warning or simply ignored unless they cause a crash.
But hey, we should go after guns as a menace to public safety, right?
That is all.