Stats show a drop in DUI arrests in some wet cities
Opponents of alcohol sales in Hartselle point to increased crime as one of the reasons to keep booze out of the city, but statistics show the link isn’t that direct.
Athens and Arab, both of which approved alcohol sales in recent years, reported a decrease in alcohol-related driving arrests. Athens voters legalized alcohol sales in 2003 and confirmed the change in 2007. In 2002, the city reported 290 DUI arrests. In 2003, DUI arrests dropped to 229 and then to 218 in 2004. That number climbed, however, in the next two years, including a high of 319 DUI arrests in 2006. Many of those arrests, local officials said, were people who did not live in the county but were arrested as they traveled through the area.
Arab approved alcohol sales in 2008 and reported 146 DUI arrests that year. The following year that number dropped to 90. Arab’s other crime statistics remained virtually unchanged, too. In 2008, Arab reported no murders with one in 2009. There were 50 assaults in 2008 compared to 38 in 2009. Statistics for robbery and rape were virtually unchanged from 2008 to 2009.