Photo credit: Airman 1st Class Gustavo Castillo

Over the past five years, the adult felony arrest rate in San Diego increased by 8 percent while misdemeanor DUI arrests declined by 31 percent, according to a report released Tuesday by San Diego Association of Governments.

The report, compiled by SANDAG’s Criminal Justice Research Division, found that San Diego County had the state’s second highest arrest rate for adults and the state’s highest arrest rate for juveniles.

In 2009, felonies represented 28 percent of all adult arrests. Last year, they represented 35 percent, according to the report.

Felony-level arrests for dangerous drugs — which include offenses related to methamphetamine, depressants and hallucinogens — increased 54 percent between 2009 and 2013. Over the same period, other drug offenses — which include prescription drug abuse — increased 30 percent and narcotics offenses — which include heroin — increased 20 percent.

Also on the rise were felony-level arrests of adults for burglary and motor vehicle theft, according to the report.

“In the wake of public safety realignment, local law enforcement agencies have stepped up their supervision and monitoring of offenders who have serious criminal histories,” said SANDAG Criminal Justice Research Director Cynthia Burke. “Their increased vigilance may be one of the reasons why felony arrests are going up in the region.”

Last year, an average of 33 adults were arrested each day for driving under the influence, the most common reason an adult in San Diego County was arrested. That’s a significant decline from five years ago, when the daily number of DUI arrests for adults was 47, according to the report.

— City News Service

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