The Chicago DUI Law Blog - Find a Chicago DUI Attorney

June 2010 Archives

More than three years after 26-year-old Sandra Vasquez allegedly drove several teenagers home from a party while drunk, resulting in the Oswego crash that killed five, she will be cross-examined in the courtroom, according to the Chicago Daily Herald.

The woman has a tough act to follow, though. Members of the Kendall County jury heard testimony from still-mourning parents and from the surviving teenage passengers.

Sandra Vasquez's Illinois DUI attorney claims her blood-alcohol content reading, recorded at 0.124 percent, was skewed by vomiting before the test. Instead of intoxication, her attorney insists the crash was caused by one of the teenagers grabbing the steering wheel or kicking the back of her seat.

The suburban town of Naperville finished first in Chicago-area DUI arrests in 2009, according to the recently released results of a survey by the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists (AAIM). Rockford came in first statewide, with 743 arrests, while Naperville police recorded 581 DUI arrests last year.

And while Illinois State Police made 3 percent more arrests in 2009 than 2008, DUI arrests by the Chicago Police Dept. actually declined by nearly 18 percent. Although Chicago DUI attorneys could probably provide more contexts, it's not clear whether fewer Chicagoans are driving drunk or if the city has fewer resources to enforce DUI laws.

Actress, singer and tabloid staple Lindsay Lohan is not the only DUI convict forced to wear a Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor (SCRAM) bracelet on her ankle but she's certainly the most famous. An MSNBC article explains how the novel detection device works.

But if you've been convicted of a DUI and want to look as fashionable as Lindsay Lohan, ask a Chicago DUI lawyer how you may be eligible to wear the device.

SCRAM spokeswoman Kathleen Brown told reporters that the device is "like a breathalyzer for your ankle." That's the quick pitch, but it actually works quite differently than the standard breath-test apparatus.

The DUI charge against 37-year-old Rogue Dooley may be the least of his worries, as the Chicago Sun-Times reported. The Gary, Indiana man allegedly dragged a Chicago Police bicycle officer 30 feet after striking the cop with his pickup truck last Saturday night.

He now faces charges of aggravated battery to a police officer, aggravated fleeing police, misdemeanor reckless driving, driving without a license, failure to obey a police order, operating a motor vehicle without insurance and having alcohol in the car, in addition to the DUI charge.

It may take more than your average Chicago DUI lawyer to defend against those charges.

You may have heard all about the concept of implied consent, which according to FindLaw means drivers who are suspected of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol must submit to a blood-alcohol test.

So while Illinois law may unequivocally state that yes, you must submit to a breathalyzer test, most Chicago DUI lawyers will offer a more nuanced view, as a Chicago Now blog explains. Illinois criminal attorney Lewis Gainor, who writes the blog, first makes it clear that motorists stopped on suspicion of a DUI really don't have much of a choice during the initial stop.

Still, in answering the question of  whether "to blow or not to blow," he provides the common attorney answer, "It depends."

An unidentified, allegedly intoxicated motorist initiated a police chase after his Mercedes struck a squad car on the West Side, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. The chase ended in the Ukranian Village neighborhood after police had to use a Taser to subdue the man. 

He is now facing charges of resisting arrest and driving under the influence, but the article made no mention of the exact charges or how his Chicago DUI attorney might stage a defense.

New Trier High School student Erin Hughes, who was arrested after accidentally striking and severely injuring 16-year-old Sarah Goone on May 14, has just been charged with two misdemeanor DUI charges, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. 

She wasn't drinking before the daytime incident but admitted to police that she had smoked marijuana the night before. Her blood was drawn after her arrest and Cook County prosecutors said on Monday that her blood showed traces of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.

But if her Chicago DUI lawyer understands the key differences between alcohol and marijuana, primarily the time it takes for the body to process the substances, he or she may be able to put up a strong defense. 

Illinois Rep. Ron Stephens, R-Greenville, gave a public apology to his constituents for his recent arrest on DUI charges, according to the Belleville News-Democrat. He was speaking at last Monday's Highland City Council meeting about the 2011 state budget.

The apology was Ron Stephens' first public statement about last month's arrest:

"I made a huge mistake a few months ago when I made the decision to drive impaired. I tell my children that decisions have consequences, and I am paying those consequences."

A man was arrested over the weekend for a DUI after Illinois State Police responded to reports of a highway shooter, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. His name was not released by police at the time and it's not yet known whether or not he was the shooter in question.

WBBM Chicago reported the following day that the man's name is John Mauro. Depending on the outcome of the investigation, he may need an Illinois criminal defense attorney in addition to a Chicago DUI lawyer.

Cook County prosecutors dropped felony aggravated DUI and reckless homicide charges against off-duty Chicago officer John Ardelean, the Chicago Tribune reported. Two people in their early 20s were killed in the 2007 incident.

Nancy Flores, whose brother and his friend both lost their lives after John Ardelean's vehicle hit their car with his SUV at more than 60 m.p.h., did not attend the hearing and said she is angry with how prosecutors handled the deadly DUI:

"I am completely disappointed with the state's attorney's office, and I'm completely and utterly disgusted with the Chicago Police Department."

Ten-year-old Calvin Santos was crossing the street in Rogers Park last week with his 3-year-old sister and father, according to NBC Chicago, when he was struck and killed by a suspected drunk driver. Neither sister Liliana Santos nor father Bulmaro Santos were injured in the accident.

The driver, identified as 30-year-old Rogers Park resident Martin Candia, was charged with reckless homicide and aggravated DUI. His Chicago DUI lawyer likely will urge his or her client to plead guilty, but the defendant faces a tough trial involving the death of a child.

The three family members were crossing the street between two parked SUVs on North Ashland Blvd. when Martin Candia crashed into one of the vehicles, which pinned and crushed Calvin Santos between the two. He was declared dead shortly after arriving at St. Francis Hospital in Evanston.

A woman from north suburban Chicago was charged with a felony aggravated DUI after she struck two vehicles, CBS Chicago reported. The 25-year-old driver, Yolanda McCray, and her 5-year-old daughter were both injured in the accident.

The mother is expected to fully recover but sources say the young girl is in "really bad shape," but reporters would not elaborate. The defendant was ordered held on $100,000 bond.

Whatever the condition of the child, Yolanda McCray's Illinois DUI attorney no doubt has a challenging case. Her history and the current charges are quite serious.  

An opinion piece written by a Chicago DUI lawyer and published by FindLaw decries an Illinois bill that would give police more leeway to use "reasonable force" in order to get blood draws from suspected drunk drivers. The bill which allows for a forced DUI blood draw, HB 4969, currently is pending before the rules committee.

If passed, the law would require hospitals to comply with an officer's warrant for a blood draw from a suspected impaired driver.

The author of the piece insists that if it becomes law, it will "[set] aside long-established patient consent rights to facilitate prosecutions." It's currently a gray area of law, as patient consent usually is required before a blood sample may be obtained.

As was widely expected after her arrest on March 9, former Mount Prospect school bus driver Betty Burden entered a plea of "not guilty" to felony DUI charges, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. Not guilty pleas are rare for DUI cases, which usually rest on the evidence obtained by breathalyzer tests.

Police say her blood-alcohol level topped out at a staggering 0.226 percent (nearly three times the legal limit). But her Illinois DUI lawyer, Ernest Blomquist, said he plans to challenge those results, according to comments he made to NBC Chicago reporters:

"We're going to fight this... She's got an absolutely clear driving record. She's been an exemplary employee."