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.
Fortunately, the alleged impaired driver in this incident was apprehended before a collision could occur, but for thousands of Chicago residents every year, that is not the case. The reality of the situation is that police officers cannot be at every intersection at every moment and therefore if a motorist chooses to drink and drive, he or she is likely to cause an accident.
When tragedy happens a crash leaves you injured, make sure your rights are not ignored. Call the personal injury lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. and let us help you by providing you with a free case consultation without any obligation regarding your accident and what legal relief may be possible. We have a lawyer standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week to take your call toll free at (855) 529-2442 or locally at (312) 924-7575 and everything discussed will be kept confidential.
If an accident has left you injured, do not wait. Call Abels & Annes, P.C. now and let us fight for the relief you deserve.
Prior Blog Entry:
Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Settle Case for $150,000, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published March 4, 2015.
Cops: Elgin man asleep behind the wheel on exit ramp, charged with DUI, by Courier-News Staff, Chicago Tribune, published March 3, 2015.