Drunk Driving

Man faces DUI charge for fatal accident

A man was recently arrested for DUI after he was reportedly involved in an accident that killed his wife. It is not known if a blood alcohol test was administered, but the Illinois man now faces a DUI charge, along with other traffic related charges. He was held at a county jail on a $40,000 bail.

The accident happened earlier this year, back in January. According to reports, the man was traveling with his wife when tragedy struck. The man and his wife were involved in a crash that took her life, but it was not clear if he sustained any injuries. No other information regarding the crash or how it happened was given in the recent report.

Authorities believe that the man was driving under the influence at the time of the incident. Recently, authorities charged him with several allegations, including reckless homicide. He was also charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated resulting in a fatality in an accident. He was released after posting the $40,000 bail. No other details regarding his charges have been released.

Most readers are aware that driving under the influence is a dangerous occurrence for the driver and others that share the roadway. It is also equally important that Illinois readers are aware that just because someone is formally charged with a crime does not mean they are automatically guilty of criminal behavior. In this DUI case, prosecutors will need to prove that the man was driving under the influence and his behavior caused the crash and his wife’s death. Unless a conviction happens in a criminal courtroom, the defendant is presumed innocent until proved guilty.

Source: stltoday.com, “Metro East man is charged in DUI crash that killed his wife“, , July 11, 2014

Illinois driver charged with DUI following crash

Drunk driving is not only punishable under the law, but it is also dangerous for other motorists that share the roadway. An accident recently occurred that caused injuries to four individuals. Illinois authorities believe the driver responsible for the crash was under the influence and charged her with DUI.

The car accident occurred on a recent Saturday morning. Reports indicate that the collision occurred when a driver ran through a red light at an intersection. The vehicle slammed into a Toyota sedan which was carrying four occupants. Rescue crews arrived at the scene and transported the crash victims to the hospital for their injuries. The driver suffered an injury to his head which required surgery.

Three female passengers in the vehicle also sustained injuries, but the exact details of their conditions have not been released. The driver who ran the red light was charged with driving under the influence and aggravated DUI. At last report, the driver is being held at a jail facility on a $500,000 bond. It’s not known if the driver has been released.

Being charged with a DUI can bring on a series of consequences for accused suspects and if convicted, the alleged drunk driver may be sentenced to spend time in prison and may also lose driving privileges. In addition, the suspect may be forced to pay restitution and other penalties. The defendant has the right to challenge any piece of evidence Illinois prosecutors intend to use in order to protect her legal interests. Furthermore, the defendant has the right to request a trial to be heard in front of a jury of her peers. Until and unless a conviction happens, the defendant is innocent until proven guilty.

Source: centralillinoisisproud.com, “Bloomington Woman Charged in Serious Accident“, , March 31, 2014

Illinois driver charged with DUI following crash

Drunk driving is not only punishable under the law, but it is also dangerous for other motorists that share the roadway. An accident recently occurred that caused injuries to four individuals. Illinois authorities believe the driver responsible for the crash was under the influence and charged her with DUI.

The car accident occurred on a recent Saturday morning. Reports indicate that the collision occurred when a driver ran through a red light at an intersection. The vehicle slammed into a Toyota sedan which was carrying four occupants. Rescue crews arrived at the scene and transported the crash victims to the hospital for their injuries. The driver suffered an injury to his head which required surgery.

Three female passengers in the vehicle also sustained injuries, but the exact details of their conditions have not been released. The driver who ran the red light was charged with driving under the influence and aggravated DUI. At last report, the driver is being held at a jail facility on a $500,000 bond. It’s not known if the driver has been released.

Being charged with a DUI can bring on a series of consequences for accused suspects and if convicted, the alleged drunk driver may be sentenced to spend time in prison and may also lose driving privileges. In addition, the suspect may be forced to pay restitution and other penalties. The defendant has the right to challenge any piece of evidence Illinois prosecutors intend to use in order to protect her legal interests. Furthermore, the defendant has the right to request a trial to be heard in front of a jury of her peers. Until and unless a conviction happens, the defendant is innocent until proven guilty.

Source: centralillinoisisproud.com, “Bloomington Woman Charged in Serious Accident“, March 31, 2014

Illinois woman charged with DUI after injury-causing crash

A drunk driving conviction in Illinois can have criminal, personal and professional consequences. Not only could it mean fines and jail time, but it can mean a loss of driving privileges and increased insurance premiums. A woman now faces the possibility of any or all of these repercussions after a recent car crash in Chicago. She has been charged with a misdemeanor DUI offense along with other traffic violations.

The accident, which occurred in the early morning hours of Feb. 3, injured five adults and three children. According to police, the accused was driving westbound in a minivan when she ran a red light and collided with a northbound sedan. She was reportedly the only person in her vehicle. There were seven occupants in the vehicle that she hit.

The injured children were taken to Comer Children’s Hospital with conditions ranging from fair to serious. According to reports, the adults were transported to two different hospitals with injuries ranging from fair to critical. In addition to the DUI charge, the woman faces charges of driving without insurance, driving without a license and disregarding a traffic signal.

In the aftermath of the crash, the accused may now be subject to proceedings in both the Illinois criminal and civil courts. She would do well to seek legal representation that has the experience to defend her constitutional rights and find the best strategy for responding to the DUI charge. By doing this, she may obtain a better outcome that minimizes the impact these charges may otherwise have had on her future.

Source: Chicago Tribune, Woman charged with DUI in two-car crash on South Side that injured 8, Peter Nickeas, Feb. 3, 2014

Police department announces controversial plan

Joliet residents may be interested to know about a new program being instituted in Riverside, Illinois. The department will be using the social media application Twitter to ‘tweet’ the names of anyone arrested for DUI. The police chief claimed that his department is experiencing more and more drunk drivers, and the hope of the program is to curb this number. Officers will be tweeting the names, ages and towns of residence of the accused after they either make bond or appear in court. Additionally, drivers charged with drug use will be having the same experience.

The stigma of a DUI arrest can be serious, and by revealing the names of the accused before they have had their say in court can have long-term effects. A convictions can carry jail time and fines, as well as issues with housing and employment in the future. Even just the accusation of DUI can have detrimental effects.

The target age group for the Twitter program is drivers under 30, the age group which makes up the majority of the drunk driving arrests. Additionally, most of the department’s Twitter followers are in that same age group. According to the police chief, the Twitter program does not reveal any information the department does not reveal already under public information laws, but Twitter makes the information more accessible much more quickly.

People who are accused of DUI ought to take the charges very seriously. In Illinois, first-time offenders can face jail time if convicted. It also requires the suspension of the driver’s license. This can make getting to work or school more of a challenge and have unintended consequences. The vigorous defense of the accused can ensure that their rights are defended, and their side of the story is told.

Source: The Chicago Tribune, “Suburban police department to tweet names of DUI suspects” Wes Venteicher, Dec. 10, 2013

Criminal charges dropped after test results proved inaccurate

Drivers who are pulled over or involved in an accident and suspected of being under the influence of alcohol are often asked to submit to some sort of field sobriety test. In cases where a serious injury or fatality is involved, an individual may also be asked to provide a blood sample which is then sent to a lab and tested for traces of alcohol or drugs.

In cases where criminal charges are brought against an individual, defense attorneys may request a client’s blood sample be tested by an independent laboratory. This action recently lead to serious criminal charges being dropped against one man after independent lab results proved he was sober on the night he was involved in a terrible fatal accident.

Last spring, the man was involved in a car accident in which he struck and killed a motorcyclist. At the time, the man was arrested and subsequently charged with vehicular homicide after toxicology results from a state-run lab showed his blood alcohol level was 0.24 at the time of the crash.

The man’s defense attorney requested his client’s blood sample be sent to an independent lab at which point results showed the man’s blood alcohol level was actually 0.001 at the time of the accident. The criminal charges against the man were dropped and an investigation into the practices and procedures at the state laboratory is now underway.

While this story did not take place in Illinois, these types of errors must always be considered as a possibility when defending against drunk driving charges. There is always the possibility that a blood sample was contaminated or tampered with. Additionally, the results of a field sobriety test can often be disputed as human error is often to blame for inaccuracies in reporting.

For those individuals facing drunk driving charges, a criminal defense attorney can provide advise on how to proceed. In many cases, a defense attorney is able to successfully defend against DUI charges and provide for the best possible legal outcome.

Source: WRCB-TV, “DUI Charges dropped; TBI investigates toxicology mistake,” Megan Brantley, Oct. 22, 2013

Illinois police target drunk drivers this Labor Day holiday

Many Illinois residents are busy finalizing plans for the upcoming Labor Day holiday weekend. As thousands of area residents plan to gather with friends and family to celebrate the unofficial end of summer, many will drive to desired destinations. In many cases, those who gather at celebratory parties, camp grounds and backyard barbeques may choose to have an alcoholic beverage.

While, provided an individual is at least 21-years-old, there is nothing wrong with enjoying an alcoholic beverage or two, serious consequences may result if an individual then chooses to drive. As part of an anti-drunk driving campaign coined, “Drive Sober of Get Pulled Over”, Illinois State Police will be increasing patrols this holiday weekend in an attempt to identify and arrest drunk drivers.

Drunk driving charges related to a misdemeanor or felony DUI, can adversely impact nearly every part of an individual’s life. Those facing a DUI conviction often feel shame and embarrassment which impacts relationships with loved ones. What’s more a DUI conviction may result in hefty fines, jail time and negatively impact an individual’s ability to both keep and secure a job.

Illinois residents who are facing DUI charges would be wise to seek the advice of a criminal defense attorney. An attorney who has experience handling DUI matters can help determine whether police had the right to stop and question a driver and also answer questions related to the validity of a field sobriety test. In many cases, a defense attorney is able to either negotiate more favorable terms related to a DUI conviction or ensure such charges are dismissed.

Source: The News-Gazette, “Police watch for impaired drivers as holiday nears,” Aug. 24, 2013

Illinois passes law requiring use of cameras by DUI offenders

The high costs associated with a criminal driving under the influence conviction in the state of Illinois is about to increase. Already costs associated with a DUI charge can total upwards of $10,000. This amount will soon increase as those convicted of DUIs will soon be required to install special in-car cameras.

In 2009, Illinois passed a law requiring individuals convicted of DUI to install breath analysis ignition interlock devices in their vehicles. The law was controversial and many still argue the requirements under the BAIID program are too harsh as even first-time offenders are required to use the devices. A recent decision by Illinois Secretary of State, Jesse White, now also requires individuals convicted of DUI to install a camera in their vehicle.

Proponents of Illinois BAIID program contend the use of interlock devices have helped decrease the number of DUI-related fatalities in the state. They contend the addition of cameras will help to further ensure individuals with DUI convictions are using the device and not another individual.

Currently, individuals convicted of DUI are forced to submit to the provisions of the BAIID program for a time period as determined by the court. The costs associated with installing the interlock and camera devices total roughly $200 and there are also monthly fees associated with the maintenance of these devices which run about $70. Add this to the increase in insurance rates DUI offenders are likely to experience and the financial costs associated with a DUI quickly mount.

Money, however, is just money. Even more damaging is the emotional and social toll a DUI conviction typically takes on an individual’s life. Individuals convicted of DUI may be shunned and ostracized by family, friends and co-workers. Such reactions may lead to depression and other mental and emotional problems.

Individuals who are facing a potential DUI conviction would be wise to contact a criminal defense attorney. An attorney who understands how the legal and court systems operate can help provide for the best possible outcome.

Source: The Times, “Smile: DUI car breathalyzers now include cameras,” Steve Stout, July 9, 2013

Illinois to increase DUI patrols July 4

Next week, Illinois residents will gather at respective city celebrations to celebrate our nation’s independence. The July 4 holiday is a time for family and friends to gather and celebrate. In addition to enjoying fireworks and other festivities, many Illinois residents over the age of 21 will also enjoy an alcoholic beverage or two.

The July 4 holiday often yields some of the largest number of drunk driving arrests in the state. This year, the Illinois State Police campaign, “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,” will be in full effect. With more police patrolling, Illinois drivers are reminded to drink responsibly and rely on a sober driver or taxi to get home.

Criminal charges related to driving under the influence of alcohol can negatively impact an individual’s life in a number of ways. In the past, individuals accused of drunk driving have lost their jobs and families. What’s more, the stigma of having a permanent criminal record often prevents individuals from putting the incident behind them and moving forward.

Individuals facing DUI charges have rights and should consult with a criminal defense attorney. In many cases, the validity and accuracy of a breath test can be called into question. In Illinois, individuals who refuse breath tests are often subject to harsh penalties. A criminal defense attorney who is experienced at handling DUI charges, however, can help provide for the best legal outcome.

Possible ways a DUI attorney may be able to assist include, a reduction in fines and penalties, an expungement of criminal charges, reduction in jail time and a reduction in criminal charges. In some cases, a criminal defense attorney may aid in having DUI charges dropped altogether.

Source: Barrington Patch, “Barrington Police to Crack Down on Drunk Driving,” Morgan Delack, June 25, 2013