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March 2011 Archives

What Are The Costs Of A DUI Conviction In Illinois?

Almost 32 percent of car fatalities in the United States in 2009 involved alcohol and led to nearly 10,839 deaths, based on a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That same year, it was also found that an average of one death caused by drunk driving happened every 48 minutes.

But while many Chicago residents recognize that impaired driving is dangerous, few may be aware of the actual financial costs of a DUI conviction. MSN Money reports that the expenses for a typical DUI- where no one was injured- could total at least an average of $10,000 after paying for bail, related fines and fees, and insurance.

Senators Ask Phone Companies To Remove DUI Checkpoint Apps

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A group of U.S. senators has asked Research in Motion (RIM), the maker of BlackBerry phones, Google, and Apple to remove certain mobile applications from their online stores that help users locate and avoid DUI checkpoints, according to CNN.

While many Chicago locals and drivers across the country may consider such smartphone apps incredibly useful, four lawmakers have argued that the aforementioned cell phone manufacturers have just provided drunk drivers with “a free tool to evade checkpoints, putting innocent families and children at risk.”

Avoid a DUI: Consider Using "Be My Designated Driver"

As some Chicago locals may have discovered, choosing a friend as designated driver when you decide to drink and want to avoid a DUI or any other hazard of drinking and driving, may not always work out. What if the person decides to guzzle one or more drinks expecting to be fine to drive? What if you can't take a taxi, because there are none around or it's too expensive?

How will you get home safely?

Fortunately, a new designated driver service called Be My Designated Driver, (BeMyDD) provides an alternative for drunk drivers to stay off the road, according to Family Car Guide. Its operation is similar to having a chauffeur driving a group of people in a limousine, which is often limited to taking a party to and from special events such as a prom or a wedding.

Carolee Bildsten Pleads Guilty To Theft and Felony DUI Charges

Carolee Bildsten, 57, has just a few legal problems to contend with. She was arrested and put on trial after she skipped out on paying a restaurant tab and struck a Gurnee cop with a sex toy. The Chicago Sun-Times reported Bildsten was also charged with a felony offense for aggravated DUI in September and misdemeanor counts of aggravated battery for the sex toy attack and theft in November.

Lake County Assistant State Attorney Scott Turk said Bildsten later changed her mind about continuing with the trial after the first witness was asked to testify. The defendant then pleaded guilty to the felony aggravated DUI and theft charge, which led the state to drop the assault charge against the officer in return for her guilty plea.

Henry Benjamin Arrested For DUI, Hitting Police

Chicago local Henry Benjamin III was recently arrested after driving a stolen truck while drunk and hitting police officers during a chase through Carpentersville and West Dundee. Authorities said they noticed a 1996 Dodge pick-up truck speeding erratically down Route 25, where the pursuit began, and ended up following Benjamin through Route 68 and Route 72.

According to the Northwest Herald, Benjamin was initially pulled over near Lake Marion Road, and police had detected the smell of alcohol coming from the car. Benjamin’s eyes had also appeared bloodshot and his speech was slurred. But when an argument arose between him and an officer, Benjamin began to drive away and pulled the cop along several feet.

Skokie Police: Harry Teinowitz Had Pot On Shirt During DUI Arrest

A Skokie police report stated ESPN sports talk radio host Harry Teinowitz, who was recently charged with DUI, had marijuana residue on his shirt when authorities arrested him on March 4. Officials have not yet charge Teinowitz with possession of marijuana, but they said they noticed the pungent smell of pot in his vehicle when they pulled him over on Greenwood Avenue.

A witness told police that Teinowitz was swerving across all traffic lanes as he headed down the Kennedy Expressway in Chicago, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. The witness added that Teinowitz's sports utility vehicle almost hit his auto a number of times, which led the witness to contact Skokie police and follow Teinowitz until authorities arrived.

IDOT And State Police Will Enforce Checkpoints For St. Pat's Day

With St. Patrick’s Day approaching, many Chicago locals may be celebrating Irish-based festivities with family and friends. But sometimes these celebrations can turn out to be dangerous as more drunk drivers are found on the road, risking the safety of many St. Patrick’s Day enthusiasts.

To help minimize the number of impaired drivers and DUI-related car accidents through the week, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) reported that it would be working with Illinois State Police (ISP) and over 150 local police agencies during the upcoming holiday weekend.

Chicago Woman Allegedly Causes Two Car Accidents After Driving Drunk

According to the TribLocal, a 22-year-old Chicago woman faces DUI-related charges after she allegedly caused two car accidents in the same evening. Police reported the woman had also been driving with a blood-alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.231 percent, which is almost three times more than the legal limit of 0.08 percent.

Authorities said they found the young driver and her female passenger in Tinley Park inside the car with the vehicle’s airbags out, but no injuries were reported. The 22-year-old had supposedly rear-ended another automobile on the intersection of 80th Avenue and 159th Street before she swerved into the easement of a Numark Credit Union, damaging the curb.

ESPN Radio Host Harry Teinowitz Arrested For DUI

Sports radio personality Harry Teinowitz from ESPN 1000 was recently caught drunk driving in Skokie, reported the Chicago Sun-Times. Authorities said 50-year-old sports talk host had a blood-alcohol content level of 0.131 percent when they pulled him over during the weekend.

The legal BAC limit in Illinois is 0.08 percent.

“I made a horrible mistake in judgment,” said Teinowitz, the host of the sports talk radio program “The Afternoon Saloon.” “And I take full responsibility for my actions. I let my family down. I let you guys, the listeners who I love, down. I let the company I work for down. And I’m deeply sorry.”

Christina Aguilera Charged With Public Intoxication

Singer and “Burlesque” film star Christina Aguilera, 30, and her beau Matthew Rutler, 25, were arrested in Los Angeles earlier this week after consuming two bottles of wine during a late night dinner at Osteria Mozza. The Chicago-Sun Times reported a police officer had caught Rutler driving erratically on the road and charged him with DUI.

Even though Aguilera was not behind the wheel, she was still unable to avoid getting arrested because she was allegedly extremely drunk and “unable to care for herself,” according to Hollywood Chicago. While Rutler faces a more serious misdemeanor offense, law enforcement officials detained Christina Aguilera for public intoxication but prosecutors will not charge her.

David Solis May Face Upgraded Charges For 2009 DUI Hit And Run

Twenty-eight-year-old Elvis Hernandez, a victim in a DUI hit and run car accident in October 2009, died over the weekend. According to ABC 7 Chicago, Hernandez's death could potentially upgrade the charges against David Solis, 28, who was already held in prison for several DUI-related offenses and fleeing the scene of the accident.

Aurora police said Solis and his passenger, Hernandez, had been heading westbound on East New York Street in his 1999 Lexus SUV when he rear-ended a truck that was stopped in traffic. Solis then left his vehicle at a nearby parking lot after the accident and supposedly took off on foot, leaving Hernandez injured in the front passenger seat.