Elburn police officers honored for DUI arrests
By Linda Girardi
Special to The Sun
ELBURN Mostly working the night shift, Elburn police Cpl. Glenn Davis and Cpl. Jeffrey Herra have removed their share of drunk drivers from the road.
"I like to think with every DUI arrest we are potentially saving a life," Herra said.
The Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists (AAIM) recently acknowledged Davis and Herra for "exceptional DUI enforcement" and public service while patrolling Elburn for the past year.
In 2005, Davis made eight DUI arrests and Herra made 15. They are considered the department's top DUI officers.
Herra said there are times when a drunken driving arrest is initiated by a vehicle equipment violation, such as a broken taillight. Other times, it may be a result of observing erratic driving.
DUI cases require an observant and experienced officer to build a case and make an arrest that will hold up to a conviction. Every moment is significant, they said.
"We are concerned for everyone's life. When we're following behind a driver that is swerving and weaving, we don't know what the (impaired) driver will do another half-mile down the road," Herra said.
Herra said after making the traffic stop and speaking with the driver, a police officer will detect the physical signs of alcohol use that subsequently warrant a line of questioning and investigation.
"We ask them if they've had something to drink," Herra said. "The typical answer seems to be two beers, or some people will claim they've had nothing to drink, but you still follow through to determine if the driver is under the influence."
Each year, AAIM conducts an annual DUI survey of more than 700 police agencies in Illinois to recognize the department's top DUI officers.
AAIM's Executive Director Charlene Chapman said, "It takes only seconds to become a victim without warning or choice."