Abels & Annes

Articles Posted in DUI

9116Drivers in Chicago know that drinking and driving is dangerous but few are able to articulate exactly why alcohol poses a problem. In truth, the effects of alcohol on the human body are complex and the ways they interact limits a driver’s ability to control a vehicle, steer, and make informed decisions.

Almost every part of what makes us human can be affected to some degree by alcohol consumption but when it comes to safe driving, the central nervous system takes one of the biggest hits. Alcohol can so effectively alter the processes of the central nervous system that it can turn the best driver in the world into an open danger to herself and those around her. But how?

Alcohol enters the body and begins to be metabolized immediately. It is a depressant and can have psychoactive effects on users which leads to its popularity here in Illinois and across the nation. Globally, alcohol is one of the most widely and heavily used drugs among people of all ages and its popularity dates back thousands of years.

Prior to the invention of the automobile, people who drank alcohol in excess rarely posed a threat to strangers. While the effects of booze may harm a user personally, that individual rarely had the opportunity to let his actions influence others, harm others, or otherwise cause damage beyond himself. By 2014, nearly 1/3 of all traffic-related deaths in the United States happened in an accident involving a drunk driver and nearly 10,000 people lost their lives in drunk driving collisions in that year alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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212154.jpgMothers Against Drunk Driving refers to drinking and driving as the most common crime committed across the nation. It is a particularly troubling activity because it threatens not only the safety of a drunk driver but also all innocent motorists and passengers in the area. Further, when a drunk driving accident happens, it can be devastating and daunting because the crash need never happen if a driver choose to abstain or to take another means of transit.

In Chicago, thousands of people are the unwitting victims of drunk driving collisions every year and many of these people sustain serious, life-altering injuries. Even more of them suffer injuries that will heal but will cause those victims pain and suffering as well as inconvenience in their daily lives. When this happens, victims may be entitled to seek financial compensation for their losses including any medical bills they incur through a civil claim for damages. If you have been hurt in a car accident, you may get the answers you need by speaking with a personal injury lawyer.

According to local authorities, a 24-year-old man was under the influence just over a week ago when he caused a collision that seriously injured one of the passengers in another vehicle. Officials claim that the man was driving northbound on Oak Street in Crystal Lake when he allegedly ran a red light at I-176 and collided with an oncoming car. Now, police have alleged that the 24-year-old man was under the influence of alcohol and that man is facing criminal and traffic charges including aggravated DUI, failing to reduce speed to avoid a crash, and running a red light.

The collision left the suspected at-fault driver with injuries but was much more severe for a passenger in the second car. That passenger reportedly has critical injuries that include paralysis.

The 24-year-old driver is being held in lieu of bond and authorities claim he may be a flight risk since he faces a possible 12 year prison sentence if convicted.
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121153.jpgIt is a law that almost all drivers in Illinois know by heart – the presumed blood alcohol content limit that will trigger a driving under the influence charge is .08. But fewer motorists realize that having a blood alcohol content lower than .08 does not mean that a driver is immune from charges. Rather, any amount of alcohol in a motorist’s system can be a violation of local and state laws if that alcohol has an intoxicating effect on the driver. Additionally, the rules that apply to certain operators may be stricter than the .08 limit commonly known. Drivers under the legal drinking age of 21 and drivers of school buses are not allowed to have alcohol in their systems and operators of some commercial vehicles may face standards more limiting than those that apply to a typical motorist.

Failing to obey the laws and choosing to drive while drunk can have serious consequences including criminal and/or traffic charges if a driver is apprehended. In addition to these charges, the penalties may become more severe if a drunk driving accident occurs and one or more people involved are injured. A type of action that is separate and distinct from any DUI-related criminal charges may be available to victims who are hurt in collisions and may enable them to obtain financial compensation for their injuries. Possible relief can include payment for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering but the circumstances surrounding your accident may determine the possible recoveries so you may wish to speak with a personal injury lawyer if you have been hurt.

An early Monday morning car accident turned tragic when a female passenger lost her life in Chicago. Now, according to local authorities, alcohol may have played a role and may be the reason that the driver lost control.

The incident occurred shortly before 2:00 a.m. near the 2200 block of North Lake Shore Drive. A 42-year-old man reportedly was driving southbound with a BAC in excess of the .08 limit when he lost control of his vehicle, causing it to leave the road’s surface, flip, and land on a frozen lagoon near the Lincoln Park Zoo.

Emergency crews responded to the scene and evaluated the driver and his 37-year-old female passenger. Both were injured and were taken to area hospitals for treatment but unfortunately, the woman’s injuries were too severe and she died a short time later. The driver survived the crash in serious condition and remained in the hospital through Tuesday but his current condition is not clear. Now, officials have confirmed that the man is facing charges of aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol resulting in death and driving without a valid license. He is also facing a misdemeanor count of driving under the influence.
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1211143.jpg Do you trust other drivers on the road to act with your safety in mind? The prevalence of drunk driving accidents and impaired driving collisions in Chicago and the rest of Illinois suggest that you should not. Impaired drivers operated with limited faculties that make decision-making difficult and make them more likely to be the cause of an accident when they are behind the wheel. This explains why it is a crime in Illinois to drive while drunk and why these actions are treated so seriously by local police officials and state’s attorneys.

But the criminal fallout from a drunk driving accident or a drugged driving collision focus on the at-fault motorist; the victim or victims who may be injured in that accident are often left to their own devices to seek the help they deserve. In Chicago, victims can do so by bringing a civil claim for damages against an at-fault driver which may include a drunk or drugged driver. Relief may provide compensation for any damages that a victim incurred including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and future costs. These claims are complicated and the facts surrounding the accident can determine who may be held liable so it is a good idea for victims to speak with a personal injury lawyer to learn how the laws apply in their unique case. If your loved one was injured or killed, the right to seek relief may pass to you, and a lawyer can help you work through those scenarios as they may apply.

A fatal accident in St. Charles last month took a new turn when the suspected driver allegedly reported to police that he snorted a line of heroin shortly before driving, according to information obtained by the media. If that wasn’t enough, police statements indicate that the suspect also admitted to being distracted by his cell phone at the time of the collision and that he consumed marijuana and prescription drugs the night before the incident.

The crash occurred near Route 31 and Timbers Trail last month when the suspect allegedly drifted over a center line and collided with a second vehicle in a head-on crash. The driver of the second vehicle, a 65-year-old woman, died as a result of the injuries she sustained, leading the suspect to face criminal charges for his conduct. Reports have revealed that a urine test of the suspect detected marijuana in addition to amphetamines, barbiturates, cocaine, and prescription drugs in his system. A search of the suspect’s vehicle revealed a bag of a substance suspected to be heroin and some unidentified pills.

The suspect did not have a valid driver’s license at the time of last month’s accident due to a prior conviction of driving under the influence of alcohol Continue reading

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1120143.jpgExperts consider drunk driving to be one of the greatest threats to the safety of motorists on American roads. Despite the fact that it is illegal to drink and drive in all 50 states, every year, motorists continue to cause drunk driving accidents that leave others injured, or worse, killed. Many of these accidents take place in Illinois and in the city of Chicago and cause millions of dollars’ worth of damages annually.

Victims may not understand what their rights are or whether they have the ability to seek relief for their losses. In truth, many victims have valid claims for their injuries that are separate and distinct from any traffic charges brought by local police or officials. The facts surrounding a collision and the parties involved may factor into your options, so if you have been involved in a crash, you may want to speak with a personal injury lawyer in Chicago to understand all of your rights.

Former Chicago Bears quarterback Bob Avellini has been arrested six times since 2002 and now is facing time in prison for his most recent brush with the law. After a felony arrest in 2013 for driving under the influence of alcohol, Avellini was recently sentenced to 18 months in an Illinois prison as punishment for the 2013 incident as well as for his prior violations of drunk driving laws. Though Avellini has been arrested six times, this most recent offense represents only his third conviction.

Avellini has claimed that hits sustained during his NFL career led him to become depressed which in turn triggered his drinking.

Known as “Slow-Mo” during his playing days, Avellini grew up in New York before playing college football at Maryland. He was the 135th pick overall in the 1975 NFL draft and began his professional NFL career with the Chicago Bears where he played until 1984. He has maintained ties to the Chicagoland area and has had many of his run-ins with the law in the city.
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IMG_1250.jpgAre you familiar with the drunk driving laws in Chicago and across the state of Illinois? If you are like the typical driver in the city, you know the basics but many of the specifics of the laws evade you. For instance, you might know it is a crime to drive under the influence of alcohol, but you might not know how many drinks it takes to be considered under the influence. Or you might not realize that drivers under the age of 21 are not allowed to have any alcohol in their systems while they operate a vehicle because they are not legally allowed to consume that alcohol.

One major aspect of drunk driving accidents in Chicago that is not well understood by the public revolves around the rights of the victims of these crashes and what types of legal relief may be available to them. That is because it is up to each and every victim to pursue this relief and the right to receive it will be waived unless help is sought within the time period specified law. In fact, victims may be able to recover financially for all of the damages they sustain in an accident, whether their damages are in the form of medical expenses already incurred, medical treatment likely to be needed in the future, wages missed while off work and recovering, or pain and suffering. In the tragic event that a victim loses his or her life, the right to seek compensation may belong to that victim’s loved ones or family members, though not amount of money can ever provide adequate payment in these cases.

A personal injury lawyer with experience representing victims of Chicago car accidents, including drunk driving crashes, may be able to help you understand your legal options and rights if a collision has affected your life.

Police in Manhattan confirmed that Buddy Valastro, best known for his starring role on the TLC show “Cake Boss,” was arrested early Thursday morning in New York City. Officials confirm that Valastro was driving in the area of 10th Avenue between 20th Street and 32nd Street when the reality TV star allegedly swerved in and out of traffic. Officers initiated a stop and reportedly noticed Valastro displaying signs of intoxication including bloodshot eyes and the inability to stand on his feet without wobbling. While at the scene, police administered a blood alcohol test via a breathalyzer which Valastro allegedly failed.

Valastro is currently being charged with driving while intoxicated and driving while ability impaired under local New York laws. It is unclear whether he is currently in custody or whether any additional charges may be issued at this time, though authorities confirm that they are still investigating the incident.

Valastro rose to fame with his TLC show, “Cake Boss,” which chronicles a family-run bakery in his hometown of Hoboken, New Jersey. On the show, Valastro and the rest of the staff at Buddy’s Bakery are known for elaborate themed cakes as well as traditional bakery items ranging from breads to cookies to classic Italian dishes.
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20140424_084736.jpgIn Chicago and across the state of Illinois, it is illegal to operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A motorist will be presumed under the influence with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher but that is not the only time a driver can be guilty of a crime. Rather, if there is any alcohol in a motorist’s system that causes that motorist to be impaired, even if a small amount, that driver can be guilty of operating while intoxicated.

While drinking and driving receives much attention, driving under the influence of other drugs, both prescription and street drugs, is just as dangerous and also a crime in Illinois. Chicago drivers who are impaired due to drugs are violating the law and can face similar punishments to those who drive drunk, including the loss or suspension of a driver’s license, fines and fees, and incarceration. In addition to any charges brought by state officials, impaired drivers who cause accidents may be held liable for the financial damages that result to victims, including any medical bills that may be incurred. The right to seek this relief belongs to victims and can be available regardless of the outcome of any criminal case or charges stemming from the accident. A personal injury lawyer may help you understand your legal options if you have been hurt in a collision.

Local authorities have charged a 35-year-old man with driving under the influence and reckless homicide following a Sunday evening collision on the Dan Ryan Expressway that left one woman dead. The incident occurred shortly after 7:00 p.m. near 87th Street in the northbound lanes and involved two vehicles, a BMW and a Jeep. Officials believe the 35-year-old driver of the BMW collided with the Jeep and forced the Jeep off the roadway where it began to roll. The 44-year-old female driver of the Jeep was seriously injured in the incident and was transported by EMS officials to an area hospital for emergency treatment. Though doctors tended to her, the woman’s injuries were too severe and she died later that evening.

Police responded to the scene and spoke with the driver of the BMW who reportedly sustained minor injuries and is expected to recover. According to an officer, the driver admitted to consuming several alcohol beverages earlier in the day, prompting officials to charge the man with driving under the influence. Authorities are still investigating the incident to determine whether any charges in addition to the two already filed should be brought and in an attempt to determine what caused the initial impact between the two vehicles.
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20130912_144841.jpg Drunk driving is a serious problem in Chicago and across the rest of the nation. Every hour of every day, individuals choose to get behind the wheel of a car, truck, or van when the laws make it illegal to do so because those individuals are intoxicated. In Illinois, drivers with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or higher are presumed to be under the influence of alcohol and therefore in violation of laws prohibiting driving while intoxicated. But that is not the only scenario where a driver can be found guilty of drunk driving. If any amount of an intoxicating substance like alcohol produces an effect that limits a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle, that driver may be liable for impaired driving.

When a drunk driving accident occurs in Chicago, anyone injured due to the actions of the drunk driver may be entitled to financial relief for their injuries. Often this includes relief for lost wages missed while recovering from work, medical bills that must be incurred, and compensation for pain and suffering endured as a result of the crash. Speaking with a lawyer who has experience representing those who have been harmed by the actions of an intoxicated driver may help you understand if you have a valid claim, and if so, if a recovery is possible to help you following a crash.

Drunk drivers can be held liable for the injuries that result from an accident they cause and in many cases this liability is in addition to any traffic or criminal charges brought by the State of Illinois. Penalties may include the loss of a driver’s license, fines and fees, and even incarceration in jail or prison. The possible punishments often increase in severity if anyone is injured or killed in a crash or if the drunk driver flees the scene of the collision.

Despite the serious nature of possible punishments, motorists continue to drive drunk and cause accidents in Chicago, and according to local police, one driver did exactly that on Sunday. Police allege that a 76-year-old resident of South Shore was legally drunk when he drove his car and struck a police sergeant who was at the scene of an earlier crime.

The driver was traveling eastbound in the 2600 block of East 83rd Street when he came upon a crime scene actively being investigated by police and other officials. Allegedly the driver reported that he noticed emergency personnel and swerved his vehicle to avoid them, but in the process, he overcorrected and struck a sergeant who was standing outside of his vehicle. The driver reportedly made direct contact with both the sergeant and the sergeant’s vehicle, leaving the sergeant with bruises and the car with scrapes and dents. The sergeant was treated at Little Company of Mary Hospital and is expected to recover. It appears that the driver involved was not injured in the crash.

After the impact, the 76-year-old driver allegedly fled the scene and continued eastbound. Another officer that witnessed the incident was able to follow the driver and apprehend him a few blocks from the scene. The driver was arrested and was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and leaving the scene of an accident after blood tests reportedly revealed a BAC of 0.092.
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004.jpg Illinois law makes it illegal to operate a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A driver is presumed to be under the influence of alcohol when his or her blood alcohol content, or BAC, is 0.08 or higher. Yet that is not the only time a driver can be impaired; in fact, even if a driver’s BAC is lower than 0.08, the driver can be guilty of operating while impaired if there is enough alcohol in the driver’s system to limit his or her ability to safely operate a car.

The laws are clear and the punishments for driving while drunk are serious. Despite this, thousands of drivers in Chicago take to the roads every year while they are impaired by alcohol or drugs, leading to thousands of drunk driving accidents. Many of these result in injuries to those involved, including the drunk driver, the passengers of the drunk driver’s car, those in another vehicle involved in the crash, and even pedestrians. When a victim is hurt through the actions of a drunk driver, that victim may be entitled to relief for all damages sustained, including any medical and surgical bills incurred. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer in Chicago who has experienced representing the victims of alcohol-related accidents may help you understand whether you are entitled to relief if you have been hurt in an accident.

An early Sunday morning accident in Chicago is now believed to have been caused by alcohol, according to local officials. The incident happened near the border between Chicago and Cicero on West Cermak Road, shortly after 5:00 a.m. A 28-year-old man was driving an SUV when he struck a viaduct on Cermak, leading to the driver’s serious injuries. Emergency crews responded and transported the man to Mount Sinai Hospital for evaluation and treatment.

A 29-year-old female passenger was inside the SUV at the time of the crash and she sustained critical injuries. She was also transported to Mount Sinai Hospital for treatment where her current status remains unknown.

The investigation into this incident is ongoing but officials suspect that alcohol was a contributing factor. Charges against the driver are pending at this time but the nature of the charges have not been disclosed.
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IMG_0238.jpg Fans of the band 3 Doors Down know Todd Harrell as a founding member and former bassist of the group but others may know him from his legal problems over the last few years. In July of 2012, Harrell was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of prescription drugs after his Cadillac rear-ended another car. Then in 2013, Harrell was involved in a fatal accident in Tennessee that claimed the life of a 47-year-old man while Harrell was allegedly under the influence of drugs.

Now, police in D’Iberville, Mississippi have reported that Harrell was arrested there on Tuesday for suspected driving under the influence of an unknown drug or drugs. They are awaiting the results of blood tests before they can confirm or deny their suspicions of Harrell’s allegedly impaired driving.

Police have reported that they approached a vehicle with Harrell in the driver’s seat at an intersection in D’Iberville, the same city where he was arrested for DUI in 2012. A police officer noticed that the driver of the vehicle was slumped over the steering wheel while the vehicle was stopped. When officers attempted to speak with Harrell, they claim there were signs that Harrell was impaired and possibly under the influence of drugs. He has been charged with a repeated offense of driving under the influence while police and investigators continue to look into the occurrence and Harrell is currently free on bail.

Fortunately no one was injured in Tuesday’s incident but that was not the case last April when Harrell allegedly caused a fatal crash near Nashville. In that case, police claim that Harrell was speeding on an interstate and reportedly admitted to officers that he had consumed both hard cider and the prescription drugs Lortab and Xanax before driving that day. Harrell reportedly struck the rear of a pickup truck, causing the driver of the truck to lose control, strike a guardrail, and flip at least once before the truck came to a stop. The 47-year-old man behind the wheel died as a result of his injuries in that crash.

The band 3 Doors Down cancelled some of its shows out of respect for the victim’s family and later replaced Harrell with another bassist for future shows. In 2013, sources reported that Harrell entered a drug rehabilitation program shortly after the fatal crash occurred.

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal in every state of the country yet daily, drivers continue to get behind the wheel while impaired, placing their own safety and the safety of others at risk. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has reported that nearly 20 percent of all drivers killed in accident who were tested for the presence of drugs had positive test results. In addition to these drivers, thousands of other innocent people lose their lives to drivers on drugs every year.
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