The Woodstock Police Department plans to step up its driving under the influence enforcement with a squad vehicle dedicated to the task.
The Woodstock City Council recently approved a request by the department to spend $44,054 on a DUI enforcement vehicle. Police plan to buy a 2019 Ford F-150 police responder pick-up truck, with a Stalker Radar speed detection system and an in-car camera. The truck itself costs $34,837, the speed detection equipment is $1,237, the camera system is $3,140. It will cost an additional $4,840 to get the truck upfitted and striped for police purposes, according to city documents.
The department will use some money it gets from McHenry County Court DUI convictions and fines to fund the purchase, according to city documents.
The matter needed City Council approval because only $43,000 was set aside in the 2019-20 budget for DUI fine expenditures. The total cost to get the vehicle up and running is $44,054, according to city documents.
About 29,000 people are arrested in Illinois for allegedly driving under the influence annually. About 700 of those arrests are made in McHenry County, and Woodstock Police Department averages about 70 annual DUI arrests, according to city documents.
“Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol continues to be a factor in regard to trying to maintain a high degree of public safety for the Woodstock community,” Police Chief John Lieb wrote in a memo to the City Council. “It is in Woodstock Police Department’s interest to more effectively address this issue by equipping our officers with a vehicle that will be mostly dedicated to the cause of DUI enforcement.”
The aim is to address the number of DUIs and decrease serious or fatal crashes in the Woodstock area, he said.
“Additionally, in order to get the biggest return on investment, it is the intention of this department to multi-purpose this vehicle when it is not being used for its primary purpose of DUI enforcement,” Lieb wrote.
Those additional uses will be for “Click It or Ticket” patrols and community service officer use, according to city documents. The truck also will be able to haul a speed trailer and truck scales, plus transport large lost and found or evidence items, according to city documents.
Woodstock police made 11 DUI arrests from Jan.1 to May 31, according to most recent data available from the department.