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February 2011 Archives

Raul Vega Arrested For DUI After Celebrating Divorce

Law enforcement officials recently caught a drunk driver from Little Village slowly "coasting" down the middle of the street on the Southwest Side, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Police said 34-year-old Raul Vega was slowly driving his Oldsmobile Alera at a whopping speed of about 5 mph.

Apparently,Vega had been extremely inebriated after celebrating his divorce and admitted to police that he had drunk 10 to 12 beers to commemorate the life-changing event. Authorities did not seem to share his sentiment and immediately arrested Vega for several DUI-related offenses.

Cecil Conner Found Guilty In DUI Car Crash

Cecil Conner was recently found guilty on two counts of aggravated DUI in the fatal car accident that killed 5-year-old Michael Langford Junior, reported ABC 7 Chicago News. Conner had admitted to driving drunk during the trial in Will County, but his defense attorney Jeff Tomczak argued that Chicago Heights Officer Chris Felicetti made his client get behind the wheel even though he was clearly inebriated.

"While we disagree with the jury's verdict, we respect it," said Tomczak. "As experienced trial lawyers we know that whatever the jury decides is in our system of justice, that is the verdict."

Detriot Tigers' Michael Cabrera Arrested For DUI In Florida

Baseball fans in Chicago might have heard about Detroit Tigers star Michael Cabrera, 27, and his recent encounter with law enforcement officials after he was charged with drunken driving in Florida. According to the Associated Press, Cabrera was suspected of DUI after a deputy spotted his vehicle and pulled him over in Fort Pierce.

The St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office reported Cabrera had slurred speech and reeked of alcohol at the time of his arrest. The baseball player also allegedly took a quick swig of scotch in front of the deputy and refused to cooperate, which eventually led to more deputies being called to the scene.

Cracking Down On Drunk Driving: Sobriety Checkpoints in Illinois

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), sobriety checkpoints are often set up nationwide as part of a comprehensive enforcement plan that focuses on discouraging impaired driving. However, not all states perform these roadside safety checks. Some states (like Idaho) consider DUI checkpoints illegal by law or the state’s constitution, while others (like Alaska) do not have any authority to conduct them.

The GHSA website provides more information about DUI checkpoint laws in each state and how often these safety checks are carried out throughout the year. For instance, the GHSA revealed that Illinois conducts several hundred sobriety checkpoints every year.

DUI Trial Begins For Cecil Conner

As many Chicago locals may have already heard, the DUI trial involving Cecil Conner recently began this week. Conner was accused of driving drunk and killing Michael Langford, the 5-year-old son of his former girlfriend Katie LaFond, after his car crashed into a tree last May, in Steger.

The prosecution contended that Conner was the only person responsible for the fatal crash, considering he had been driving with a blood-alcohol content level that was almost three times more than the legal limit of 0.08 percent. However, ABC 7 News reported Conner's Chicago DUI attorney, Jeff Tomczak, argued that his client only drove because a police officer had told him to do so.

Skokie Locals Arrested and Charged For DUI

Law enforcement officials in Skokie have been kept busy as several locals were arrested on suspicion of DUI last week.

According to the Skokie Patch police blotter, Wendy Wallack, 19, was pulled over after running a red light and nearly hitting another vehicle around Lincoln Avenue. After failing a field sobriety test, police began to suspect that the teen may have also been on drugs and took a urine sample. Although results of the sample are pending, Wallack was still charged with driving under the influence of drugs, disobeying a red light, and having no proof of insurance.

Teen Faces DUI Charges for Drugged Driving In Naperville

A 17-year-old from Lisle may be subject to potential DUI-related charges for drugged driving after a car crash in Naperville left two other teens, ages 15 and 16, with injuries. The Chicago Sun-Times reported the victims had been heading westbound in a 1994 Chevrolet Blazer when the 17-year-old's 2004 Dodge Intrepid collided with their vehicle.

Naperville police said the Blazer had been attempting to make a turn left into a Mobil gas station prior to the crash. As for the passengers in the Blazer, the 15-year-old boy remained at the Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago under critical condition while the 16-year-old suffered non-life threatening injuries.

Super Bowl DUIs: Senators Say "Bring the Checkpoint to the Car"

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Many Chicago football fans may be aware that Super Bowl Sunday has been recognized as one of the worst days for DUI-related vehicle accidents and fatalities. In 2009, Super Bowl Sunday was indentified as the second worst day of the year for DUI crashes after 65 people across the country were killed as a result of drunk driving.

In an effort to keep drunk drivers off the road, the office of U.S. Senator Tom Udall reported that he and Senator Frank R. Lautenberg have introduced a legislation that requires the use of ignition interlock devices on all convicted driving offenders.

Lonzie Kent Arrested For Driving Drunk and High After Fatal Car Crash

Chicago police recently arrested 25-year-old Lonzie Kent for driving drunk and high after he crashed his car while attempting to avoid an arrest for a previous car accident that happened earlier. According to the Chicago Tribune, Kent had run through a red light between 75th Street and Lafayette Avenue last weekend when he collided with a Chevrolet van before leaving the scene.

The driver of the van immediately chased after Kent and followed him on and off the Dan Ryan Expressway. Once the Chevrolet reached South Racine Avenue, the passengers saw Kent swerve into coming traffic after trying to avoid hitting another car and then crash into a building. Twenty-seven-year-old Jermain Mitchell, a passenger in Kent's car, was killed in the collision.

Niko Donald Caught and Arrested For Drugged Driving

Police officials reported 21-year-old Niko Donald from Gary was charged with impaired driving and possession of marijuana after he was seen driving erratically on the U.S. 20 in Portage. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Donald was taking his pregnant girlfriend to her doctor's appointment when authorities asked him to pull over.

Police revealed that Donald also had a 2-year-old child in the vehicle, making his impaired driving charge a felony offense. He also received a ticket for driving with a suspended license.