A string of OUI arrests on November 1, 2008, in Cambridge represents a trend of the increasing OUI arrests in the city during the 2008 year. More specifically, in 2008 in Cambridge alone there was a 52 percent increase of OUI arrests by law enforcement officers from the previous year. Compared to an increase of just 4.6 percent statewide in the same year, this number is staggering.
However, Cambridge Lieutenant Jack Albert claims that the increased number of OUI arrests in Cambridge is due to better-trained police officers, a more efficient system of reporting OUIs to the state, and greater awareness of and attention on drunk drivers. According to State Police, there were 40 OUI arrests in 2008 that occurred at four federally-funded, late-night sobriety checkpoints in the city, accounting for 75% of Cambridge’s increase in OUI arrests for last year.
In Somerville, however, OUI arrests have dropped 15.8 percent in 2008 from the previous year. According to Deputy Chief Paul Upton, this drop can be partly attributed to the closing of the Good Time Emporium, a former 80,000-square-foot entertainment complex and sports bar. Over the years, many drunk drivers claimed they had been drinking at Good Time before getting in their cars and driving.
Across the Commonwealth, there has been an overall increase in the number of State Police sobriety checkpoints, up from 14 in 2005 to 75 last year. Meanwhile, incidents of OUI-related car crashes that State Police responded to decreased from 709 in 2006 to 595 in 2008. In the words of the spokesman for the State Police, “both numbers are moving in the right direction.”
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