By Anne Eickstadt

ANNE EICKSTADT PHOTO Belvidere Republican
Detective Kozlowski has been given an award for his work from Mothers Against Drunk Driving. He keeps it in a place of honor at his home.

The class on DUI Enforcement is always interesting. Detective Rob Kozlowski, is leading this session. “He is an expert on DUI enforcement,” said Deputy Chief Matthew Wallace. He has been on the BPD force for 12 years and has been a detective for the last three years.

“One way to become the most hated officer in town is to arrest impaired drivers,” he said. “My kids go to school here. Some people do not like me and say stuff to my kids. I tell my kids, ‘Not once did I arrest someone for something I did.’

“We can’t be everywhere and we depend on you to call in impaired drivers. They might be drunk or on drugs. They might have had their driver’s license suspended or revoked because the court has determined that they are not a safe driver. Luckily we have not had too many drunk drivers killing other drivers. Without you calling in about drunk drivers, we may not get there in time.

“If an officer asks you how much you have had to drink, be honest. Four Miller Lites might be acceptable. There is a lot you might be able to get rid of (from your driving record) with, but not a DUI.

“Happily, we have seven cab companies in Belvidere and $5 will get you just about anywhere in town versus a $10,000 fine for DUI.

“Every day 28 people in the United States die in alcohol related vehicle crashes. Drunk driving crashes claim more than 13,000 lives each year. DUI caused deaths and damages, including property damage, hospital expenses, and funerals, contribute to a cost of over $44 billion per year.

“Of the 1132 traffic deaths among children aged 14 or younger, 209, or 16 percent, involve an alcohol impaired driver.

“In 2015, nearly 1.1 million drivers were arrested for DUI or narcotics impairment. That is only one percent of the 111 million self-reported incidents of DUI. Nearly three in ten fatal accidents involved impaired drivers with blood alcohol levels over .08 percent. Nearly three in ten of those drivers were also between 21 and 24 years old.

“The best chance of reducing these numbers is education. Some of the best groups out there are:

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