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Police DUI Check Caught 5 Offenders In One Night On Near North Side

By Rachel Cromidas in News on May 29, 2015 6:20PM

The Chicago Police Department caught five people driving under the influence on the Near North Side in one night earlier this month during an overnight roadside check.

The police department regularly sets up roadside safety checks points around the city on weekend nights, were officers will stop cars and check for safety violations, such as the failure to wear a seatbelt and more serious violations such as driving while intoxicated.

Officers set up shop in the 18th police district overnight May 8 to 9, which encompasses parts of River North, Old Town and Lincoln Park, areas that are teeming with nightlife on the weekends. They charged five people with DUIs, according to a department release. Another driver was arrested for driving with a suspended license and the officers also handed out several dozen more driver's license violations, unsafe vehicle violations and traffic violations.

The 4th District, which encompasses much of South Chicago and the 14th District, which includes Wicker Park and Bucktown, are up next, with roadside safety checks slated to go up today, May 29, in the 4th District and tomorrow, May 30, in the 14th.

The department came under fire earlier this month for its roadside check policies after a Tribune investigation found that the checks more often take place in predominantly black and Latino neighborhoods, which see fewer DUI violations on average than the North Side's nightlife-heavy, predominantly white neighborhoods.

The analysis of department data found that 84 percent of Chicago's roadside checks took place in black and Latino neighborhoods. But only about 4 percent of checkpoints have been in police districts with mostly white residents. Jefferson Park, one such district, hasn't had a roadside safety check in five years but it has the dubious honor of one of the city's most DUI accident and fatality-prone communities.