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December 2010 Archives

Aileen Beernink Gets Third DUI Arrest

Repeat DUI offenders are hardly newsworthy, unless the offender is barely of age. Aileen Beernink, a 21-year-old Naperville woman, was arrested and charged with at least her third impaired driving offense, according to NBC Chicago. The young woman also was charged with driving with a suspended license, also not her first such offense.

Aileen Beernink was stopped in Naperville's Ranchview neighborhood at around 2:50 a.m. Sunday morning, according to the police. Arrest records claim she was stopped because she was driving with her headlights off.

Sergio Kindle, rookie linebacker for the National Football League's Baltimore Ravens, was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, according to the Baltimore Sun. His blood-alcohol concentration was recorded at 0.17 percent, more than twice Maryland's legal limit of 0.08 percent.

Sergio Kindle, who suffered a skull fracture after falling down a flight of stairs just days before the start of the preseason, has had a particularly tough first season as a pro.

Stopped just after 4 a.m. last Sunday after an officer witnessed his car weaving, police said the professional athlete smelled of alcohol and had bloodshot eyes. He reportedly then told the officer he had "had a few drinks."

Motorists who are arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence often are initially stopped for a burned-out tail light, blown stop sign or speeding. It could be argued that getting arrested for a DUI is sometimes a blessing in disguise, especially when you consider the risk of fatal collisions.

But some Chicago-area neighborhoods are more prolific than others when it comes to traffic stops and citations, according to a Chicago Tribune article listing the top five top-ticketing suburbs.

Just six months after he was put on unpaid leave for a DUI arrest, Chicago Department of Water Management employee Paul Hansen was given a job promotion, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. His father just so happens to be former Ald. Bernie Hansen (44th).

Paul Hansen is Chicago's new district superintendent of water distribution, a $103,632 position that netted him a 6 percent raise.

Despite efforts to provide sober alternatives for New Year's Eve, including nationwide First Night celebrations, it still remains a largely alcohol-centered holiday. Thankfully Chicago offers plenty of cheap and sometimes free options for a safe ride to and from the party, as explained in Chicago Now's CTA Tattler blog.

One option is the Chicago Transit Authority's annual New Year's Eve penny fares, which is exactly as it sounds. Riders can board CTA buses and trains for just one cent but operators often just wave people on without having to procure the copper coin.

Robert Park allegedly left the scene of the crash, was driving on a suspended license from a prior DUI and had a bottle of the pain medication Vicodin in his car when he fatally struck Sonia Dorado, according to the Niles Herald-Spectator.

Officers said Robert Park appeared confused after the crash, having returned near the scene of the incident when he was arrested. But tests turned up negative for alcohol or drugs; therefore he was not charged with a DUI.

A 22-year-old Springfield woman who was accused of killing a bicyclist with her car on Aug. 8 was recently charged with aggravated DUI, according to The State Journal-Register. Prosecutors say she not only was above the legal limit for blood-alcohol concentration but also had marijuana and the drug MDMA (commonly known as "ecstasy") in her bloodstream.

The new charges were filed after the results of defendant Ursula L. Jones' toxicology tests became available to prosecutors, according to assistant state's attorney Jennifer Kuntz.

Braidwood-based motorist Glen Ray Higginbotham Jr. was arrested last week in Joliet on charges of driving under the influence, according to the Chicago Tribune. But this isn't his first run-in with the law and is his second DUI offense.

His first DUI resulted in the death of 10-year-old Candace Graham 11 years ago; police said he was under the influence of both alcohol and cocaine at the time of the prior incident, according to local ABC News affiliate WLS.

Almost everyone by now understands what it means to have a designated driver, which is a sober friend or relative who promises to stay sober and drive everyone back home safely. Designated drivers usually are given free non-alcoholic drinks but otherwise don't get to "participate" as much.

Chicago Tribune columnist Jon Hilkevitch wrote about an emerging new spin on designated drivers that may appeal to quite a few holiday partiers.

Pulaski County Sheriff's Deputy Jereme Dintelman, who was arrested by state troopers on suspicion of a DUI in August, has his job back after the case against him was dismissed, according to ABC's Pulaski County affiliate. You might think all was forgiven after the charge was dropped.

But Sheriff Randy Kern, who fired Jereme Dintelman after the charges surfaced, reportedly is not too pleased with the rehiring. The deputy wrecked his personal vehicle on Lackey Road in rural Pulaski County and had a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.281 percent, according to the Illinois State Police.

Part-time Ashland police officer Caleb Handy was arrested last weekend in South Jacksonville on suspicion of driving under the influence, according to the Jacksonville Journal Courier. He was off-duty and out of uniform at the time of the arrest.

Police Chief Jim Bridsell said that Caleb Handy's driver's license remains valid, so he's still on patrol and has not yet been disciplined.

About one in five (18 percent) motorists killed last year had drugs in their system at the time of the crash, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration cited by the Associated Press. The data included positive tests for both legal and illegal drugs, excluding aspirin and nicotine.

The data didn't discern whether the drugs were a factor in the crashes, nor did it indicate how many of the motorist were in fact under the influence of drugs at the time of the crash. Marijuana stays in the system for as much as a month after use, for example.

But it raises some serious questions about drug use by motorists nevertheless.