A Chicago police officer involved in a fatal motorcycle accident in June, 2007 has been charged with misdemeanor DUI, according to the Chicago Tribune. A passenger on his motorcycle was killed in the accident. The officer was off duty at the time of the crash and allegedly had a blood alcohol content of .24 (.08 is the legal limit in Illinois).
The motorcucle crash occured in the 4300 block of W. 87th Street in Chicago, Illinois when a eastbound Dodge Charger turned left into the westbound motorcycle. The driver of the Dodge was also charged with DUI.
The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office reportedly just learned of the officer’s high alcohol content this week, and the Chicago Police Department spokeperson could not say why the officer’s alcohol results were not released for over 5 months. The spokesperson also said that it was the other vehicle who caused the accident.
From a personal injury lawyer’s perspective, the family of the passenger that was killed will most likely file a lawsuit against both drivers in the accident. The driver of the Dodge does appear to be the most at fault party. He failed to yield to oncoming traffic while turning left (which is required by Illinois law) and he was also allegedly intoxicated.
The off duty police officer could also be partially to blame as well, as he had 3 times the legal limit of alcohol in his system at the time of the accident. While he had the right of way at the time of the accident, you cannot help but wonder if he could have avoided the collision if he had not been drinking. If the case is not settled, a Cook County Jury may have to ultimately decide who was at fault in the accident.
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