Articles Posted in DUI

Rules against drunk driving in Chicago are strict and must be obeyed by all drivers in the city. Failing to take alternative means of transportation when you are drunk in favor of driving yourself may lead to serious traffic or even criminal charges that may result in fines, a loss of a driver’s license, or even incarceration. In the most fortunate drunk driving cases, a driver is stopped and apprehended before a collision can occur, thus no one is injured.

But too often, an innocent victim is injured or even killed when a driver chooses to drive drunk, potentially leading to criminal charges for the driver as well as legal responsibility for all damages that occur to a victim. Injury lawyers regularly represent victims of drunk driving accidents and their families in an effort to help these victims obtain the relief they deserve. In most cases, these claims can help a victim pay for necessary medical treatment or provide compensation for time missed from work as well as the pain and suffering they were forced to endure. The consequences are severe and it is never worth it to drive drunk in Chicago.

Despite all the risks involved, police have reported that a man may have been drunk when he caused his car to crash on Tuesday in the 1000 block of West Garfield Avenue. According to the local police, the man was driving an SUV shortly before midnight when he hit a curb and lost control of the vehicle. The SUV then struck a tree and rolled over onto its side. In addition to the 26-year-old male driver, an 8-year-old girl was in the car. The driver sustained critical injuries and was transported from the crash to an area hospital for treatment. He is still hospitalized at this time.

The 8-year-old girl reportedly was the daughter of the driver and was trapped in the car when it rolled. The girl, a third grade student, suffered injuries that resulted in her death. At this time, it does not appear that she was wearing a seat belt or was otherwise restrained in the vehicle.

Police believe that the driver was under the influence of alcohol and authorities have charged him with aggravated DUI as well as failing to use child restraints, both violations of local and state laws.
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A one vehicle rollover crash on Sunday left eight people injured and in need of medical treatment. Authorities now believe that the driver of the vehicle, a 22-year-old woman, was impaired at the time of the crash.

The accident occurred on I-57 near 111th Street in Chicago at approximately 9:30 p.m. with witnesses reporting that a minivan traveling on the highway struck a guardrail and rolled over following the impact, coming to a rest on the highway and in the lanes designated for southbound traffic.

It is not clear how many people were inside the minivan at the time of the crash but eight people, including six children, were hurt in the accident. The children were ages seven, five, four, two, and eight-month-old twins but it is not known whether some or all of the children were related to the driver.

The driver of the minivan has been charged with driving under the influence as well as child endangerment for her role in the accident but she may face additional charges as police are still investigating the crash.

Illinois law is clear that anyone driving while under the influence of an intoxicating compound, including alcohol and/or drugs, is in violation of the law and may face criminal charges as a result. This crime increases in severity when an accident results and one or more persons is seriously injured or killed.

Despite the risks posed by driving drunk, it has been described as the most commonly committed violent crime in America with hundreds of thousands of Americas driving drunk every year. In Illinois, drunk driving often leads to fatal accidents where one out of three drivers killed between the ages of 25 and 34 was drunk in 2011.

Illinois police do their best to arrest drunk drivers before a collision occurs but driving drunk is so widespread in the state that this is a difficult task to undertake. Nationally, an average drunk driver has driven drunk more than 80 times before his or her first arrest and between 50 and 75 percent of convicted drunk drivers continue to drive on a suspended license. This means that preventing drivers from operating a car drunk and not tolerating drunk driving behavior has to be a priority for all in society as these individuals threaten everyone on the road with their actions.
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Police have reported that a Tuesday night collision that left a pedestrian dead and three others injured resulted after they were following a young driver who ran multiple stop signs. The driver, a 17-year-old male from Hazel Crest, Illinois, reportedly had marijuana in his system at the time of the fatal crash and police had attempted to pull him over before the crash occurred.

The teen was driving near 83rd Street and Blackstone Avenue on Tuesday night and may have been under the influence of drugs when he reportedly ran six stop signs before causing a crash with another car. The impact from the collision pushed the teen’s vehicle towards a group of pedestrians where the car hit three people, killing one and injuring the other two. The driver of the second car also was injured and remained at the scene of the crash until help arrived but the teen allegedly panicked, climbed out of a window in his car, and ran away on foot. Police found the young man a short while later as he hit in a yard approximately one block from the site of the collision.

The teen was apprehended and a blood test revealed the presence of marijuana in his system, leading to charges of reckless homicide, aggravated driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, and leaving the scene of an accident. Police have stated that the teen did not possess a driver’s license and therefore was not authorized to drive.

Adding to this crash may have been police involvement and their attempt to stop the teen before a collision occurred. Officers first noticed the young man ignoring stop signs and attempted to pull over the driver, limiting the threat he posed to others on the road. Yet the man did not stop and continued to drive, reportedly running more stop signs until the collisions occurred. Police have stated that there was not an active pursuit and that their actions did not contribute to the collision with the officer on the scene turning off his lights as the teen reportedly sped off to avoid apprehension.

Adding to the tragic nature of this crash was the fact that the victim, a 32-year-old Chicago resident, was out with a couple of friends to celebrate his birthday.

Illinois law makes it very clear that every driver must be properly licensed before they are allowed to drive a vehicle and that no driver is allowed to operate a car under the influence of an intoxicating substance, including marijuana. Yet the allegations against the young driver in this case suggests that he did both, possibly leading to his actions of ignoring stop signs which in turn caused a collision that left a man dead. But the young man reportedly continued to break the law as he fled from the scene of a collision that resulted in serious bodily injury or death, a felony in Illinois, and hid from officers approximately one block from the scene. This may have compounded the severity of the injuries caused by the crash and certainly lead to increased criminal allegations against the young driver.
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Police in Oak Brook believe that the driver involved in Sunday’s one car fatal collision was drunk at the time of the crash and that man has since been charged with aggravated driving under the influence causing death.

The charges stem from an early morning crash where a 49-year-old driver left the road near 31st Street and Spring Road and crashed his car. The man had a 48-year-old male passenger who was killed in the crash and who was a resident of Hinsdale. The victim was a lawyer who leaves behind a wife and two children.

The driver survived the collision and was transported to an area hospital for treatment of undisclosed injuries. He has since been released and arrested in connection with the crash with authorities alleging that his blood alcohol content was greater than the legal limit of 0.08 in Illinois. The driver is facing a $750,000 bail at this time.

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal in the state of Illinois and all other states for that matter, yet every year, thousands of drivers take to the roads after they have been drinking. The same excuses are always offered by those that get caught – that they were just buzzed, only had a few drinks, had no other way to get home, were only going a short distance, or even that they drive better when drunk because they are more cautions – but these excuses are never a reason to drive while under the influence. Statistically drunk drivers are much more likely to cause a crash than those who avoid alcohol, making these drivers a hazard to themselves and to others on the roads. As this instance illustrates, a drunk driver poses a danger to him or herself as well as to any passengers in the driver’s car.

Drunk drivers face the possibility of criminal sanctions if they are arrested and if an accident results, those penalties may include serious jail time. In addition to any criminal offenses, a driver under the influence may face a civil claim by a victim or a victim’s families for any damages incurred, including any necessary medical bills, as a result of an accident that was the drunk driver’s fault.
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An Aurora man will serve seven years behind bars for striking two and killing one with his van back in 2010. The 33-year-old man was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in serious bodily injury or death, to which he pleaded guilty in February of this year.

The prosecution stated that the defendant had been drinking on October 25, 2010 and later chose to get behind the wheel and drive. The defendant approached Grant Street in North Aurora where a man and woman were walking around 2:00 a.m. The defendant struck both pedestrians with his van and fled the scene without speaking with police or even checking to see if his victims were alive.

The female victim, a 22-year-old Cicero resident, died as a result of the accident. She had been walking with her boyfriend, now 25 years old, when both were hit. The man survived the crash with serious injuries, including injuries to his shoulder, knee, and head with a knee replacement needed at some future point.

The defendant driver of the van turned himself in to authorities as an Aurora police station approximately two hours after the incident. His blood alcohol content was measured so that the level at the time of the crash could be determined. Based upon the results, prosecutors contended that the defendant had a BAC between .10 and 0.18, higher than the legal limit of .08. Armed with this information, the defendant was charged with driving under the influence and leaving the scene of a crash.

The presiding judge sentenced the defendant to seven years, four of which were for the charge of leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in death, and the other three for aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol. The sentences are concurrent, meaning that the defendant will have to serve one and then the other back-to-back, totaling a seven year prison sentence behind bars.

This accident illustrates how quickly one or more bad decisions can turn deadly. A car may be a means of transportation but when in the wrong hands, it can also be a weapon. Here, a driver admitted that he had been drinking and that he chose to drive anyway. Even if he had not caused an accident, he would have committed a crime simply by operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol. Not only did this man drive drunk, but he also struck two pedestrians, killing one and seriously injuring the other.
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Once a part-time Orland Park police officer, a 62-year-old man will now find himself on the other side of law enforcement after being sentenced to six years in prison for a crash that left another man dead. The defendant was legally drunk with a blood alcohol content of 0.11 at the time of the accident; Illinois law presumes intoxication when a driver’s BAC is 0.08 or higher.

The case stems from a 2010 crash on I-80 near New Lenox. The defendant was driving his pickup truck eastbound when he came upon a Chevrolet Malibu that was stopped on the shoulder of the road. The Malibu had a flat tire and the 20-year-old male driver was inside the vehicle, talking on his cell phone as the defendant approached.

The defendant struck the Malibu at a high rate of speed, pushing the Malibu to the right and into a ditch, where the car caught on fire. The 20-year-old driver was still inside the car and died as a result of the crash. The defendant lost control of his pickup truck upon impact and veered left. He entered the lanes designated for westbound traffic and collided with a third vehicle that had a 40-year-old man, 32-year-old woman, and 10-year-old boy inside. Fortunately, none in the third car were seriously injured.

The defendant was initially taken to Silver Cross Hospital where he was treated for injuries sustained in the crash. After that, authorities took him into custody and charged him with aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol, a Class 2 felony punishable by a three to 14 year prison sentence. During the criminal proceedings, the defendant pleaded guilty to the aggravated DUI charge and received a six year sentence earlier this week.

Drunk driving is dangerous and illegal in Illinois. Many people who hear about this specific example of drunk driving will be disturbed that not only did a citizen break the law and kill another, but also that the defendant was once responsible for enforcing those same laws he broke. If a former police officer disregards laws that are fundamental to the safety of all motorists, it calls into question that officer’s ability to enforce the same rules.

Alcohol slows the body’s central nervous system and lowers a driver’s ability to react to hazards while driving, including disabled vehicles on the side of the road. Any amount of alcohol can cause impairment and this is one of the reasons that the presumed BAC to indicate intoxication was lowered from 0.10 to 0.08 in the 1990s. Recently, the National Transportation Safety Board recommended that this limit be lowered to 0.05 nationally, the most common limit used around the world, as the experts at NTSB believe this would be a more accurate and safe level to presume impairment.
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Illinois is one of the thirty-two states in the nation that require a first time offender found guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol to have a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device, commonly known as a BAIID. But officials have decided to add some weight to the BAIID by combining it with a camera that will take a photo of the user to ensure the identity of anyone using the device.

A BAIID is an electronic device that can be installed in any vehicle and attaches to the ignition. The device monitors the blood alcohol content of a driver as the driver blows into an intake port so that it can measure alcohol on a driver’s breath. The device requires the driver to blow before the car will start and also requires random tests as the car is in motion. If no alcohol is detected, the car starts and runs normally. If a blood alcohol content of .025 or greater is registered, the vehicle will not start and the Secretary of State is notified remotely.

Officials have stated that detected levels of alcohol are often blamed on others – if someone else is behind the wheel, the BAIID still requires the driver to blow and will report a blood alcohol content regardless of the source. Now, these officials are pairing the BAIID with a camera that will create visual proof of the person who blew a negative or positive sample. The common excuses of a friend or family member causing a positive read will no longer be available.

The BAIID is required in any vehicle owned by many who have been convicted of driving under the influence, even if it was a first time offense. Those who choose not to drive after their conviction do not need a BAIID but if they are caught driving without one, they may be charged with a felony offense. A driver who chooses to drive and must have the BAIID is responsible for paying the costs of about $1,500 per year.

The goal of the BAIID is to reduce the number of drivers who repeatedly drive drunk. If drunk drivers are unable to drive their car, they will not be able to operate their vehicle dangerously on the road and place others at risk. While it is a great device and has proven to have some effectiveness in reducing drunk driving, the BAIID is not a perfect solution to the problem. It is still possible for a person to borrow a car from a friend that does not have a BAIID and drive drunk.
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An 18-year-old Barrington Hills man has been charged with aggravated driving under the influence of intoxicants after a March car crash left one man dead and a woman seriously injured. Bond was set at $100,000 plus the requirement of relinquishing his passport and submitting to random drug tests.

The charges stem from a March crash on Illinois Highway 59 in Barrington Hills where the defendant allegedly was driving under the influence of Lorazepam, a prescription sedative that is highly addictive and known to be abused as a recreational drug. The defendant was driving an SUV northbound when he sideswiped a southbound car and then crashed head-on into a vehicle driven by a 61-year-old man. The 61-year-old man died from his injuries and his 44-year-old fiancee, who was a passenger in his car, suffered severe leg injuries. The defendant sustained minor injuries and received treatment at Good Samaritan Hospital. While there, a blood test revealed Lorazepam in his system.

The defendant has been charged with aggravated driving under the influence involving death and aggravated driving under the influence involving great bodily harm. These are felony charges with incarceration in prison as a sentence if the defendant is convicted on all charges.

The defendant in this case reportedly did not have a prescription for Lorazepam but even if he did, he could be guilty of driving under the influence if the drug affected his ability to drive. Lorazepam is known to cause drowsiness and sleepiness and for this reason, the National Institutes of Health state that no one should take the medication and drive until they know how the medicine affects the individual. It is not clear whether the defendant had previously taken Lorazepam before the collision but police did find a bottle of the drug in the defendant’s car after the crash.

Car accidents are very common in Illinois. In fact, there were 281,788 automobile collisions in 2011 alone. Of those crashes, 835 proved fatal with 918 persons being killed. While the number of fatal crashes pales in comparison to the total number of accidents, there were still over 900 people killed in Illinois which is about 17 people every week.
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A fatal crash between a drunk driver and a motorcyclist last June has resulted in a 10 year prison sentence for the driver. The incident occurred last June in Naperville, Illinois and claimed the life of an innocent motorcyclist.

Not only was the at-fault driver under the influence of marijuana, he was also engaged in a road-rage incident that further caused him to driver recklessly and irresponsibly, making him a danger to himself and everyone on the road. The driver reportedly got into an argument with three teenagers in another car while stopped at a traffic light. He then attempted to chase down the teenagers and drove aggressively while doing so. As he was chasing the teens, the driver failed to exercise caution and collided with and killed a motorcyclist, who was a resident of Lombard and who died at the scene due to the severity of his injuries.

After the collision, the driver fled the scene but was later found by police officers who charged the man with aggravated driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident. The driver was found guilty of both charges in March and was just sentenced this week. In addition, he was also charged with aggravated reckless driving and misdemeanor charges of possession of marijuana, obstructing an officer, and failing to yield while turning left.

This crash was preventable and did not need to happen. Unfortunately the driver in this case got behind the wheel when he was unfit to do so and he should never have been driving that day. In addition to driving under the influence, the man engaged in a situation with another vehicle that led to road-rage and a fatal collision with an innocent biker. And if those two factors alone weren’t enough, the driver fled the scene of the crash, potentially delaying any chance the victim would have had to receive medical care or to speak with police, as he was required to do by law.

Any one of those behaviors can cause a crash but once they were combined, it is no surprise that the outcome was fatal in this case.

Road-rage is much more prevalent than realized in Illinois and it occurs daily. Some estimate that road-rage is a factor in more than 50 percent of the collisions that occur every year. Still, it is often overlooked as a serious problem facing all drivers.

Anyone can get irritated or annoyed while driving, particularly at the behavior of another driver. Though frustration may occur, it is never acceptable to let that anger accelerate to the point of road-rage. Road-rage is a series of risky actions or behaviors while driving that leads to an assault by one driver against another person, either with a motor vehicle or without one. It is also important to realize that road-rage is considered a criminal offense and not merely a traffic violation, meaning that drivers who exercise road-rage could face jail time even without causing a collision or hurting anyone.
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A crash early Wednesday morning on the Eisenhower Expressway was not merely an accident, according to local police. The driver of the vehicle was legally drunk and under the influence of alcohol when she crashed her car in Elk Grove Village in the early morning hours, backing up traffic and causing delays for several hours.

It now appears that the woman was driving a minivan northbound on I-290 near Biesterfield Road when she lost control. The van veered across all lanes of traffic before striking a poll and coming to a stop where the car caught fire. The fire spread rapidly and engulfed the entire vehicle within minutes in a hot and intense burn.

Another driver saw the crash and stopped to help because he believed it to be the appropriate thing to do. Ironically, this Good Samaritan had just seen the movie Fast & Furious 6, a theatrical release known for its car racing, crashes, and action stunts. As the Good Samaritan approached the car, he noticed the driver was still inside and that she was obviously injured. Her face was cut and bleeding and she seemed to be searching for something within her vehicle. After confirming that there were no other people inside the minivan, the Good Samaritan told the female driver that her vehicle was on fire and that she needed to get out, immediately, because he feared the fire spreading or the vehicle exploding.

The injured driver exited her vehicle and emergency reponders provided her with transportation to a local hospital where she was treated for her injuries. Authorities stayed at the scene to put out the fire and investigate the crash, including why it occurred, and in combination with other information, they came to the conclusion that the woman was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash. She was arrested and cited with driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, a crime in the state of Illinois.
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