September 2011 News: The Chicago DUI Law Blog

The Chicago DUI Law Blog - Find a Chicago DUI Attorney

September 2011 Archives

Jimmy Members Charged in Fatal Millenium Park DUI

Jimmy Members was charged with a felony DUI causing death in the fatal Millennium Park DUI.

Last weekend, the 45-year-old Members was driving along Lake Shore Drive in his Cadillac Seville when he allegedly struck a pedestrian crossing the street, reports ABC. The victim, 50-year-old Stephen Dapogny, was pronounced dead at the scene. Dapogny had apparently been visiting the city from Washington state.

Former Bull Ben Wallace DUI

Ex-Chicago Bulls just can't stay out of trouble in Michigan. Ben Wallace was arrested this weekend for a DUI in Bloomfield Hills. During the arrest, police also found a concealed weapon, and the former Bulls center will face felony weapons charges to go with his drunk driving charge.

Ironically, Judge Kimberly Small was assigned Big Ben's case, reports The Detroit News. You may remember Judge Small as the notorious judge who takes a hard line on first-time drunk drivers and who earlier this summer sentenced another former Bull, Jalen Rose, to a 93-day prison sentence. Still, the DUI charges may be the least of Wallace's worries.

Randy Ramey DUI -- Fined and 100 Hours of Community Service

Randy Ramey, the DuPage County Republican Party chairman, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence. The Randy Ramey DUI will result in a $1,750 fine and 100 hours of community service for the state representative.

In late August, Ramey was stopped by Carol Stream police at two in the morning for improper lane usage, reports the Chicago Tribune. Ramey subsequently failed four field sobriety tests and tested for a blood alcohol content of 0.179 -- more than twice the legal limit.

DUI Stops Lead to More Violations

Someone arrested for driving under the influence in Illinois faces a host of penalties simply for being pulled over. So even if you are not involved in an accident or hurt anyone, you could face mandatory jail time, hundreds of hours of community service, and monetary penalties simply for being drunk and being behind a wheel.

But beyond DUI penalties, you could also face penalties for other violations revealed by DUI stops.

In the Palos Heights police report released earlier this week, seven people were arrested for driving under the influence, reports TribLocal. Five of those seven people were then charged with violations that had nothing to do with driving (e.g.; lane-swerving, speeding, etc.), in addition to the DUI.

David Briddle Settle Naperville DUI Case for $10,000

David Briddle settled his lawsuit against the City of Naperville for $10,000. Briddle had sued the city for defamation after the police released information of his DUI arrest to a local paper. However, Briddle was never charged with a DUI after he blew a 0.0 on a Breathalzyer test.

Naperville is known for being tough on drunk drivers, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. The city is ranked second in Illinois for DUI arrests, and the city has gained fame for its tough stance on DUIs.

Keith Green Cited For DUI in Fatal Interstate 57 Accident

Just past midnight on Saturday morning, 24-year-old Keith Green was driving three buddies in his Oldsmobile Aurora when he lost control of his car on Interstate 57 and struck a light pole. His passenger, Andre Jelk, also 24, died as a result of the Interstate 57 accident.

Green and his three friends were driving on I-57 near the Morgan Park neighborhood, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. Police say Green was traveling northbound at a "high rate of speed" when he lost control of his car and struck a light pole, rolling over onto an embankment. None of the four occupants were wearing safety belts and all four were ejected from the vehicle.

The DUI Process: Arrest and Release

Last week, Diana Paz was arrested for a DUI in the early morning hours. After she was in jail, she was able to place bond and was released from prison. Because she had nowhere to go, and no means of getting there, she asked police to give her a ride to a local gas station. After she was dropped off, hours after her DUI arrest, Paz was struck and killed while walking along a street.

While tragedies like what befell Paz are few and far between, you may be wondering just how the DUI process works after arrest. How did Paz get arrested at 3:30 a.m. and was off roaming the streets at 6:00 a.m.?

New Trial for Cecil Conner DUI?

There may be a new trial for the Cecil Conner DUI after prosecutors may have mishandled some evidence prior to his conviction earlier this year.

In February, Conner was found guilty of driving under the influence and killing his girlfriend's five-year-old son, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. Conner's girlfriend, Kathie LaFond, had been driving Conner and her son home when she was pulled over. After she was arrested for driving on a suspended license, the cop ordered Conner to drive home despite his intoxication.

William Howe: Brain Disease, Not DUI, Caused Accident

William Howe, the 43-year-old Naperville dentist who drove his Porsche down the wrong way of the highway killing two people, is blaming Huntington’s disease, an incurable brain disease, for the fatal accident.

Howe was driving his car erratically on Reagan Memorial Tollway while allegedly throwing money out the car window when he ran into the opposite lane and struck a car carrying Sherali Shalwani and Farzani Ali head-on, reports the Chicago Tribune. Shalwani and Ali died and Howe was charged with reckless homicide.

Family of Pedestrian Killed on Eisenhower Brings Lawsuit

Two days after predicting that the family of Diana Paz, the pedestrian killed on Eisenhower, would not bring a lawsuit for her death, the family brought a lawsuit. In all fairness, the lawsuit is a discovery lawsuit seeking facts relating to the 25-year-old woman’s death and not a wrongful death lawsuit, but clearly the tracks are being laid for a possible action for damages.

Diana Paz was pulled over earlier this week for a DUI after driving the wrong way up I-290. She failed several field sobriety tests and was brought to a Village of Westchester police station. Shortly after being taken to jail, Paz was bonded out and released. Police stated that the woman seemed “alert” and dropped her off at a gas station in the early morning hours.

Refusing a Breathalyzer Test in Illinois?

There is a myth that refusing a Breathalyzer test is allowed in Illinois under any circumstance. Some people believe that drivers have an inherent right of privacy that protects them from tests to determine their blood alcohol level, and that should they refuse, drivers only face a license suspension.

But that’s not the case. In fact, in many situations, refusing a Breathalyzer test is not an option, as was the case with Sheila Kane.

Will County DUI: Joseph Slattery Faces Aggravated DUI for Deaths

Joseph Slattery, a 25-year-old man from Mokena, was accused of killing two senior citizens in a head-on crash over the weekend. At the time of the accident, Slattery allegedly had both drugs and alcohol in his system, and the Will County DUI resulted in aggravated DUI charges against him.

Slattery was driving south near Peotone when he crossed the median and struck another car in a head-on collision, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. The crash killed two passengers in the other vehicle, 72-year-old Margaret Simons and 92-year-old Suzanne Thomson, as well as seriously injuring a third. The two passengers in Slattery's car, a 24-year-old woman and one-year-old toddler, were also injured.