Articles Posted in DUI

Memorial Day is a national holiday dedicated to the memory of those who lost their lives while serving in the American armed forces. Unofficially, Memorial Day also marks the beginning of the summer season in much of the Midwest, including Chicago, and is a time that tens of thousands of people choose to take to the roads and travel with friends and family. Many people have a long weekend to celebrate the holiday and they will opt to do so in a variety of ways, but if you plan on using alcohol during your celebrations, several departments of local police want to remind you to refrain from driving after you have been drinking.

Everywhere in the State of Illinois, it is a crime to drive while under the influence of alcohol, yet drivers do so every day and they risk their own safety and the safety of others while they are impaired. Traditionally, Memorial Day has a large incident of drunk driving accidents and incidents that affect the lives of victims for weeks, months, or years after the crash happens and also causes harm to those in the victims’ lives leading police officers to initiate steps to reduce such collisions.
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 10,322 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving accidents in 2012 alone and that these deaths accounted for 31 percent of all traffic-related fatalities. Additionally, 20 percent of all children ages 0 to 14 years old who were killed in collisions were involved in alcohol-related incidents and that more than half of those were in the same vehicle as an impaired or drunk driver.

The results of drunk driving accidents cannot be understated: these collisions cause injuries, death, and substantial financial toll in every state and major city in the country, including Chicago. Perhaps most disturbingly is that these accidents need never happen and therefore all the destruction they cause is both preventable and avoidable if motorists follow local laws and abstain from drinking and driving. Yet despite these risks and despite these consequences, millions of drivers self-report operating while under the influence of alcohol on a repeated basis.
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National studies repeatedly conclude that alcohol is one of the most used and abused intoxicants among Americans, including those Americans that operate vehicles. Though the prevalence of alcohol use is high, drunk driving and driving under the influence remain a crime in all 50 states of this country and can be punishable by any range of actions from fines and fees to revocation of a driver’s license to incarceration in prison.

But when a drunk driver causes a car accident to occur, the charges and the penalties associated with the act may be much more significant and severe, especially if the incident results in injuries to a victim involved in the crash. In Chicago and across Illinois, for example, victims of drunk driving accidents are protected with certain rights that allow them to seek relief for their losses. Relief can be obtained against a drunk driver, an at-fault motorist, the owner of a vehicle, a corporate entity, an automobile insurance company, or any number of alternative parties depending on the facts involved. As these cases can be complicated, speaking with a personal injury attorney may help you realize what relief is available to you if a car accident has changed your life.

An incident in Elgin has been labeled as a suspected drunk driving event, according to local authorities. The suspected driver reportedly was noticed on an exit ramp from Route 20 to Route 31 in Elgin with the vehicle running and in gear but not moving. Police approached the vehicle and determined that the driver was asleep and that he did not respond when officials attempted to wake him. Authorities noticed a gun on the front passenger seat and determined that they had to break a window to access the vehicle and to ensure safety. When officers broke the front passenger window, the driver allegedly awoke and attempted to flee the scene in his car while an officer was partially inside, partially outside the vehicle via the broken window. After a short distance, the driver was stopped by another police car that was blocking the road.

Officials have reported that the driver may have been under the influence of alcohol and that marijuana was found in the man’s possession. Further investigation showed that the gun on the front seat was a BB gun that looked like a firearm and it is not believed that the driver will face charges related to its possession. While at the police station, the man allegedly admitted that he was under the influence but he did not say what intoxicant he had taken; he is now facing criminal charges related to drunk driving and possession of a controlled substance and bail has been set at $250,000.
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According to Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, there are nearly 300,000 drunk driving episodes every day in American but only about 4,000 of these motorists are arrested for their actions. That means that more than 98 percent of drunk drivers are not apprehended and are allowed to continue driving in a reckless or threatening manner simply because an officer is not in the area to notice the conduct. With so many drunk drivers on America’s roads, it should not be surprising that thousands of people are injured every year in Chicago drunk driving accidents and that many more are left suffering from the impact of these collisions.

Far too often, impaired drivers injure others with their actions and leave responsible motorists in pain and in need of medical care. While nothing can erase these accidents once they happen, victims in Illinois may be entitled to seek financial compensation for their damages including any medical bills they have incurred or are likely to incur in the future. As every case involves a unique set of facts and circumstances, you may want to speak with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney in Chicago to learn about the laws as they apply to you if you have been hurt in a car accident.

It is illegal in all 50 states to drink and drive, and according to local reports, that is a lesson that professional basketball player Ty Lawson is learning today. Reports out of Denver indicate that the Denver Nuggets point guard was arrested early this morning on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol while on Park West Avenue. Reports indicate that Lawson was driving 61 miles per hour in an area with a 35 mph speed limit and that when officers pulled him over, Lawson’s breath smelled strongly of alcohol, his eyes were bloodshot and watery, and he was swaying at the scene. When questioned, Lawson reportedly admitted to officers that he was previously arrested for DUI while in Missouri.

Lawson was a successful and highly-touted college basketball player for the University of North Carolina from 2006 through 2009 before being drafted by the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the 2009 NBA draft. As the number 18 overall pick, expectations were high for Lawson in Denver and prior to this morning’s incident, he had been having one of his best NBA seasons to date.

It is not clear at this time what effect, if any, Lawson’s arrest and charges will have on his eligibility with the Nuggets in the coming weeks and at this time, the team has not released any comment on the situation.
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It takes only a split second to have your life changed forever if you are involved in a traffic accident in Chicago. Whether the responsible driver was speeding, driving while distracted, or even failed to yield at a light or stop sign, the results of the crash can be devastating and can affect you and your family for the rest of your days. Some incidents may seem more egregious because of a driver’s conduct prior to the impact, and one common scenario of that is when a motorist drives while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

DUI accidents in Chicago affect people of all ages, social statuses, genders, and races and can leave victims from the very young to the very old. Despite the risks of drinking and driving, motorists take to the roads every single day in Illinois when they are impaired and when they are prohibited by law from driving safely, leading to incidents where collisions may be inevitable. The most frustrating part of a drunk driving crash may be that none of them need occur; if drivers opted to refrain from driving, used a designated driver, or chose public transportation instead, no victims would be hurt in Chicago and no families would be left to suffer from those losses.

While drivers continue to operate drunk, injuries to victims will continue to result. The law recognizes this and therefore enables victims to seek relief for their suffering and their losses against those responsible. In many cases, claims can enable victims and their families to obtain compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering, depending on the injuries that occur. Speaking with a lawyer who handles personal injury cases may help you understand your options and your potential claims of a car crash has injured you or has otherwise affected your loved one.

In a Skokie courtroom on Monday, a judge sentenced a 38-year-old suspect to six years in prison after the man agreed to plead guilty to the charge of reckless homicide stemming from a car accident that occurred in October of 2009. The defendant originally faced charges including aggravated driving under the influence that resulted in death after an accident which took place near Oakton Street and Riverside Drive in Park Ridge and that claimed the life of two people inside the defendant’s vehicle.

Police and local authorities brought a case against the man and alleged that he operated his vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, contrary to and in violation of Illinois state laws. The officials further alleged that the man was speeding when he ran a red light and collided with a second vehicle, injuring both his 25-year-old and 37-year-old passengers as well as the driver of the second car. Both passengers lost their lives as a result of that incident but the other driver survived with less serious injuries.
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Driving drunk or under the influence of alcohol is so dangerous to the safety of motorists that it is a crime in all 50 states, including Illinois. In this state, motorists are presumed to be under the influence when they have a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher but can be guilty of driving under the influence even with a lesser concentration of ethanol in their system. If a driver is intoxicated, it is enough to lead to potential charges.

Alcohol is far from the only substance that is banned in the systems of drivers who take to the roads in Illinois. Drugs, including some over-the-counter and prescription medications, can lead to criminal charges if the effects of the drugs impair a driver’s ability to function behind the wheel. Most drivers who are cited for operating under the influence will face charges that may result in fines, fees, loss of a driver’s license, community service, or even incarceration, but what many don’t realize is that the criminal charges may not be the end of their legal saga. Rather, if a collision occurs and a victim is injured due to the actions of a drunk driver, that motorist may be held liable for the full extent of the damages sustained by the victim or victims involved, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. It is the victims’ right to seek this relief and no action by a drunk driver can prevent this. Victims who have been hurt may choose to speak with a personal injury lawyer in Chicago to learn whether they have a valid claim and if so, what relief may be possible.

Cornerback for the Chicago Bears Tim Jennings reportedly was arrested while driving in Georgia today and is now facing charges including driving while under the influence of alcohol, reckless driving, and speeding. According to local police, Jennings was stopped shortly before 12:00 p.m. today while driving on I-85 in the state of Georgia after an officer supposedly noted Jennings’ speed at 99 miles per hour, which was 34 miles per hour over the posted speed limit in the area. Reports indicate that once the officer stopped Jennings, he approached the vehicle and detected a smell of alcohol coming from the football player, leading to Jennings’ arrest. Jennings was booked into a Georgia jail and released later in the afternoon. At this time, there has been no report on the blood alcohol content, of any, possessed by Jennings at the time of his arrest or whether any other charges may be pending.
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New Year’s Eve is one of the most dangerous nights to drive or to be on the road of the year, and that holds true in Chicago as well as across the nation in general. It is unfortunate but some drivers choose to drink alcohol and then drive or to operate a vehicle while under the influence of drugs. These drivers are not only a hazard to themselves but also to those around them, whether they are drivers, passengers, or even pedestrians.

Police in Chicago attempt to identify these drivers before tragedy strikes by looking for signs of impairment, including weaving in and out of traffic, speeding or driving much slower than expected, failing to stop at a stop sign, or general aggressiveness. But officers are not able to be at every intersection in Chicago at every moment and as a result, drunk driving accidents happen every week. These collisions affect victims at varying times of the days during the week but those associated with heavier drinking, like overnight hours and the weekends, tend to have more accidents than those during times of lighter drinking, like working hours. Holidays that may involve drinking exacerbate the prevalence of these accidents which explains in part why driving on New Year’s Eve can be dangerous.

Riverside police officers reportedly noticed a man driving 99 miles per hour on Thursday morning at approximately 1:00 a.m. Officers pulled over the driver and noticed signs of intoxication, leading to the arrest of the 20-year-old male driver while he was on 26th Street and traveling in an area with a posted speed limit of 35 mph. There are reports that the driver stated he was attempting to see how fast his car could travel when police pulled him over.

The driver allegedly admitted to officers that he was traveling home from a New Year’s Eve party and he submitted to a breathalyzer test during the traffic stop, leading to the conclusion that the suspect had a blood alcohol content of .13. The legal limit in the State of Illinois is .08, but as the driver was under the age of 21, he was legally banned from driving with any alcohol in his system.
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If you drive in Chicago or in Illinois, you are prohibited by law to do so while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any intoxicating substance. Many people know this to be the law but still, thousands of drunk driving accidents occur every year in the state, and many of them cause serious damages. Whether the harm occurs to a vehicle or to the people involved, a collision can have a profound impact on those inside a car as well as their families, friends, and loved ones.

Injuries stemming from an impaired driving collision can range from the minor to the severe with broken bones, head and neck injuries, lacerations and scars being some of the common results. Victims may need to obtain medical help and may need rehabilitative care due to the negligent actions of these drunk drivers and may have no one on their side, fighting for their rights. But the laws in Chicago mean that victims are entitled to assistance and have the right to seek relief. A personal injury lawyer may be able to advise you of your rights and your options if a traffic accident has affected your life or has left your loved one injured.

Anyone can be the victim of a drunk driving collision, a lesson that actors Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green learned yesterday. Green reportedly was driving on Mulholland Drive in California around 9:30 p.m. with his wife, Fox, riding as a passenger. Allegedly, a driver in the area heading in the opposite direction crossed the center line dividing traffic and crashed into Green’s vehicle. It appears that the impact was a side-swipe crash and that at least one tire blew on the actors’ vehicle.

Local police were called to the scene and they spoke with the driver of the other vehicle. Reports indicate that the driver was a 35-year-old male and had a blood alcohol content of more than twice the legal limit. He was arrested and charges are pending at this time.

Fortunately, neither Green nor Fox were seriously injured in the accident and the suspected drunk driver also was unharmed.
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Drunk driving accidents pose a danger to those who are under the influence of alcohol, those who may be in their cars, or even others who happen to be in the area of a drunk driver. Avoiding a car unfortunately is not a fool proof way to avoid a collision as pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists may be injured in a crash in the greater Chicago area or across the nation. Too often, it is an innocent victim who is hurt and forced to deal with the damages after the dust settles on a drunk driving crash.

Victims may be at the mercy of the actions of others but in the event of a collision, they may be entitled to seek relief for their damages. Through the use of a civil claim, victims may be entitled to obtain financial compensation for losses including medical expenses, surgical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer in Chicago may help you understand your options for relief, including whether you have a valid claim for your injuries.

Friday afternoon, a woman was killed in a St. Charles car accident that is believed to have been caused by a drunk driver. The incident took place near Timbers Trail and North 2nd Avenue shortly after 2:00 p.m. and involved one northbound and one southbound vehicle. Local officials believe that a 23-year-old man was traveling southbound when he crossed the center line and struck the second vehicle, which was driven by a woman. The woman sustained critical injuries and was transported to an area hospital for emergency treatment; unfortunately, the crash caused injuries too extreme and she died a short time later.

Police questioned the male driver of the first vehicle and determined he was under the influence at the time of the crash. He was arrested and is facing multiple charges including aggravated driving under the influence and possession of a controlled substance. It is not clear whether the driver was intoxicated or was under the influence of drugs at this time but police have reported that he was driving on a suspended license and therefore should not have been operating the vehicle at all. The driver is awaiting an initial court appearance at this time.
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It is a crime in the state of Illinois to drive a car while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, yet every day, some motorists knowingly ignore this law and take to the road while they are impaired. Chicago drivers will be presumed to be under the influence of alcohol when they have a BAC of .08 or greater, but the law does not make that the only time that a driver can be guilty of drunk driving. In fact, any amount of alcohol in a driver’s system can lead to a charge of driving under the influence if the alcohol present affects a motorist’s ability to operate a car. Further, certain types of drivers, like those under the age of 21 and those who drive school buses, are not allowed to have any alcohol in their systems while they drive.

The reason driving under the influence of alcohol is illegal is because of the drastic consequences that may result. Drunk driving accidents injure thousands in Illinois every year and cause millions of dollars’ worth of damages in the form of personal injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. While victims cannot erase the harm done to them once a collision occurs, they may be entitled to seek relief for their losses through the use of a civil claim. Speaking to a personal injury lawyer may help you understand your options, including your ability to obtain compensation, if an accident has left you injured or has harmed your loved one.

Just prior to midnight on Saturday, police in Palatine discovered a driver unconscious in his vehicle near the 700 block of Independence Drive. Officers were in the area after they received calls that a car collided with two parked vehicles in the area and then came to a stop. Officials were able to determine that the unconscious driver was the same one suspected of colliding with the parked cars and that he appeared to be under the influence of alcohol. He was arrested and charged in the incident, but police quickly learned that this was not the first time that the driver had been involved in a drunk driving offense.

Previously, the suspect was arrested and charged following a 2003 accident that left a 17-year-old girl dead. The 2003 incident took place in Kane County and involved the current suspect crossing a center line and causing a head-on crash that killed the other driver. After charges were filed, the suspect was convicted and sentenced to 7 1/2 years in prison. Prior to 2003, the suspect was charged twice with offenses related to driving under the influence, once in 1997 and once in 2001.
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