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Study: Illinois Minority Drivers Ticketed, Searched More Often Than Whites

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Traffic Stop

A police officer conducting a traffic stop. (Credit: WJZ/CBS)

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) — The long-held belief by some that “driving while black” will make you more likely to get a ticket appears to have some truth to it, at least in Illinois.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Mike Krauser reports, the Center for Law and Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago looked at 2.4 million traffic stops by all police departments in the state, in a study commissioned by the Illinois Department of Transportation.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Mike Krauser reports

The research found that minorities were more likely to be pulled over, and more likely to get tickets than white drivers.

The study found that only 55 percent of white drivers got tickets, compared with 65 percent of Hispanics and 62 percent of blacks.

Minorities are more likely to have their cars searched. The study showed police conducted “consent searches” for 0.6 percent of white drivers, 1.4 percent of black drivers, and 1.3 percent of Hispanic drivers.

But police were more likely find something illegal — like a gun or drugs — in a white person’s car. The chances of finding contraband were 25 percent for whites, 19 percent for blacks and 13 percent for Hispanics.

However, in Chicago, there was no disparity in the issuance of tickets. Police ticketed both white and minority drivers 65 percent of the time they were pulled over.

The American Civil Liberties Union says police departments across the state need to address this issue.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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