Abels & Annes

Articles Posted in DUI

122915Thanks to awareness campaigns like Mothers Against Drunk Driving, community involvement, and law enforcement crackdowns the number of drunk driving deaths in America has been cut in half since the 80s. However, drunk driving remains a serious problem in Illinois and across the country.

It is estimated there are over 121 million drunk driving incidents yearly, and in 2014 alcohol related crashes in Illinois saw a 9.2% increase from the previous four year average. So although there has been significant improvement in deterring drunk driving there is much work to be done.

Many hoped that ride-sharing apps like Lyft and Uber would help to decrease high incident numbers, but recent studies report that is not the case. A study at University of Southern California and Oxford University examined drunk driving data before and after ride sharing apps entered the market and found no effect on drinking related or holiday and weekend related fatalities.

Continue reading

Posted in:
Updated:

122915

If you drive in Chicago, you may or may not be aware of the constant threat of drunk drivers on the roadways. On any street at any time, an impaired driver may be just around the corner, lurking to cause harm if you are unlucky enough to cross their paths.

The sad fact is that drunk drivers are not just found in the hour immediately after bars close downtown. They are not confined to commercial areas and do not announce their presence as they roll down a street. Instead, these reckless drivers ignore the safety of the public by driving drunk, substantially increasing the odds that they will cause a car accident or other crash.

Continue reading

Posted in:
Updated:

123115Illinois takes driving under the influence very seriously. In the state, “driving under the influence” is defined as operating a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol, other drugs including marijuana, or intoxicating compounds. Put simply, if you drive while you are influenced by an intoxicating substance, you are breaking the law in Chicago or elsewhere in Illinois.

Most people have a basic understanding of the alcohol limit that exists here and what may or may not put them over that limit. Few drivers, though, understand the laws as they apply to other drugs.

The presence of drugs in a motorist’s system is not as easy to analyze as the presence of alcohol. While alcohol breaks down and leaves a driver’s body in a predictable and timely manner, other drugs tend to remain in a motorist’s blood and/or system for much longer. It is possible that a driver has these compounds present in their bodies even if they are no longer feeling the effects.

Continue reading

Posted in:
Updated:

122915Now that it is 2016, it may seem like no one drives drunk anymore. After all, campaigns highlighting the dangers of drunk driving accidents have been getting publicity for decades now and each passing year increases the alternatives to drunk driving, including the recent addition of ride share programs like Uber in the Chicago area. Yet the fact remains that drunk drivers are on Illinois’ roads every day of the year, at all times of the day and in all types of weather.

Once a motorist is behind the wheel and drunk, it can be difficult to protect public safety. Instead, the most effective efforts to curb drunk driving stem from preventing drunk drivers from ever entering a driver’s seat of a car, eliminating their presence on public roadways and protecting not only their own safety but the safety of others. To do this, it is helpful to understand why people drive drunk in the first place.

Continue reading

Posted in:
Updated:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

There are few places like Chicago to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, and this year will be no exception. The city-wide party will begin tomorrow morning and run all day, and even Mother Nature looks like she will be participating. The weather forecast currently calls for temperatures in the low 60s but rain is expected as well, so if you will be downtown, consider an umbrella or be prepared to get a little wet.

St. Patrick’s Day is a time to get outside and mingle with others from Chicago, have a good time and perhaps enjoy a green drink or green food. Most of those celebrating will be safe and will not have any issues, but be advised that a small number of people may be injured in accidents tomorrow. Here are some things to keep in mind if you will be in the city so that you can remain as safe as possible:

Continue reading

122915More than 100 million Americans are estimated to have watched Super Bowl 50 last night as the Denver Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers. Many of those football fans celebrated by watching the biggest game of the year with their families and their friends, rounding out their celebrations with food, drinks, and good times by all. Cheering for your favorite team or simply watching to find out which team would be crowned champions at the end of an NFL season can be a fun activity, but unfortunately for many, the number of drunk driving accidents and collisions is believed to increase around the Super Bowl as many fans will drive after drinking.

No matter what the reason for celebrating, it is always illegal to drive under the influence in Chicago. Doing so will subject a driver to many possible penalties including criminal charges, time in jail or prison, the loss of a driver’s license, mandatory use of an ignition interlock device, and/or fines and fees. All of these penalties are designed to benefit the public at large, though, and not anyone who is directly injured by a drunk driver. If an impaired motorist causes a collision that results in harm, those victims must affirmatively seek their own relief through the use of a separate type of legal action.

Continue reading

Posted in:
Updated:

123015When it comes to the holidays, not all are equal when considering the threat they pose to public safety. Chief among them is New Year’s Eve, an annual tradition where Chicagoans join together with family and friends to close out the end of one year and to welcome in the start of another. Often, these celebrations involve alcohol and late night parties in the downtown area which leaves many who participate wondering and planning how they will get home. Fortunately, Chicago has a plethora of public transportation and alternative transit options including the L trains, CTA buses, Metra trains, rideshares like Uber and Lyft, and simply walking around the city so that personally driving can be unnecessary. Unfortunately, if this year is anything like previous New Year’s Eve celebrations, some celebrants will choose to forego alternative options and instead will drive after they have been drinking.

Police are expected to be out in large numbers on New Year’s Eve and through New Year’s Day to uphold the peace and to watch for potential impaired drivers. In Illinois, it is against the law to operate a car while intoxicated and intoxication is presumed whenever a motorist has a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher. Therefore, if you will be drinking Thursday night, make sure you do not drive so that you do not break the law and face potentially severe consequences for your actions.

Continue reading

Posted in:
Updated:

122915When the calendar rolls over to January 1, 2016, many new laws will take effect across the State of Illinois covering any number of conceivable activities. Two of those laws in particular take direct aim at the safety of residents who use the roadways by attempting to make drunk driving more difficult – welcomed news in an area where driving under the influence continues to be a significant problem every year.

The first of the new laws started in the House of Representatives and will lengthen the time that an operator must use an ignition interlock device (“IID”) following a second or later conviction for driving under the influence. At the start of the new year, the minimum length for an ignition interlock device will be five years and these devices must be used on all vehicles owned by the convicted offender. In some instances, an ignition interlock device may be required for a longer period of time.

Continue reading

Posted in:
Updated:

101415.jpgDrunk driving is a serious problem in every city in the nation, and unfortunately, Chicago is no exception. With a presumed level of intoxication when blood alcohol content (“BAC”) reaches or exceeds .08, it may not take many drinks for a motorist to reach the level where he or she is a threat to public safety. Drivers in the Chicago area should be aware that simply having a BAC under the state limit of .08 does not mean that they are safe to drive or that they are not breaking the law – in fact, any amount of alcohol or other intoxicating substance can lead to criminal charges against a driver if the intoxicant limits the driver’s ability to operate a vehicle in a safe, reasonable manner.

Driving drunk is an offense that threatens harm to the drunk driver, any passengers in that driver’s car, and others on the roadway. The offense becomes even worse if a crash happens and if that drunk driver becomes responsible for injuries or even deaths sustained by others. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 10,076 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving accidents in 2013 alone, a number that accounted for 31 percent of all fatalities on American roadways that year.
Continue reading

Posted in:
Updated:

81915%282%29.jpgNational campaigns aimed at educating the public about the dangers of drinking and driving have existed for decades now. Every state in the nation makes it a crime to drive under the influence of alcohol and the penalties for those who do can be extreme, ranging from fines and fees to the loss of a driver’s license and even incarceration in jail or prison. All of these efforts are aimed at one thing – reducing the number of drunk and impaired motorists so that the streets will be safer.

The truth continues to show that drunk drivers are less capable than other motorists of operating a vehicle in a safe and efficient manner. Alcohol, a depressant, decreases a driver’s ability to respond to changing conditions or to process information in a manner necessary to make decisions. This is often coupled with dulled senses and a lack of ability to make critical choices when alcohol is in a driver’s system, all leading to an increased risk of a car accident or other serious traffic incident.
Continue reading

Posted in:
Updated: