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April 2012 Archives

Yet another wrong-way driver caused a fatal accident early Monday morning. Ronnie Head, a Chicago Tribune employee, was killed when a 24-year-old driver’s black Chevy Malibu hit Head’s Honda Accord while driving in the wrong direction on the Bishop Ford Freeway, the Chicago Tribune reports.

State police believe alcohol played a role in the fatal crash. Over the past few months, the Chicago area has seen a spike in the number of cases of people driving on the wrong side of the road, many of which were alcohol-related.

The FBI is currently searching for a man who allegedly killed a pedestrian while driving under the influence last year, Fox News reports.

Saul Chavez, an undocumented immigrant, was charged with aggravated DUI resulting in death after he reportedly hit and killed 66-year-old William McCann while driving drunk. Due to an error by Cook County Jail, Chavez was released on bail in November 2011 and has not been seen since.

The family of two elderly women from Rolling Meadows who were killed in a head-on crash have filed a wrongful death suit against the Mokena man who allegedly caused the crash while driving drunk and on drugs, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

Margaret Simons and Suzanne Thomson were killed when 26-year-old Joseph E. Slattery reportedly crashed head-on into their vehicle while driving under the influence. The suit serves as a reminder that driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can not only lead to criminal charges, but also civil liability.

On Sunday, 19-year-old Lethanniel Barajas was ordered held on $50,000 bond after being charged with DUI for a Saturday morning accident on the Southwest Side that injured five people, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Barajas has been charged with aggravated DUI resulting in injury, misdemeanor DUI, driving without insurance, and failure to produce a driver’s license.

On Friday, former Tinley Park police officer John Leonard was sentenced to 30 months of substance-abuse probation after pleading guilty to DUI and leaving the scene of an accident, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Leonard reportedly rear-ended another vehicle then fled the scene of the accident while driving drunk in his unmarked police car. He quit his job with the Tinley Park Police Department soon after the accident.

Early Friday morning, a car crossed into oncoming traffic in the Englewood neighborhood on the South Side, crashing into a car carrying three women, the Chicago Tribune reports.

One woman was killed in the crash, and three others were injured. Police believe that alcohol played a role in the accident.

A blood alcohol test can mean the difference between going free and spending the night in the drunk tank. While most people have at least a passing knowledge of what happens when a person is pulled over on suspicion of DUI, there are some important details to blood alcohol testing of which many people are unaware.

Here are a few things that everyone should know about blood alcohol tests and blood alcohol concentration levels.

On Monday, Alton police officer Christopher Mattila was arrested for reportedly fleeing the scene of two DUI-related accidents, The Associated Press reports.

On Sunday night, Mattila allegedly caused two accidents while driving under the influence of alcohol. Mattila fled from the scene of both accidents, according to Madison County investigators.

On Friday, Jeffrey Fisher was sentenced to six years in prison for drunkenly slamming his truck into a freight train, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Fisher’s girlfriend, Eva Meyers, was killed in the crash.

At the time of the accident, Fisher was driving on a suspended license. He pleaded guilty to aggravated DUI, and was facing a maximum sentence of 10 years.

On Wednesday, 35-year-old Paul Woodward was sentenced to 7 years in prison for DUI and driving while his license was revoked. The lengthy prison term is largely due to the fact that Woodward had been cited at least 25 times for driving on a revoked or suspended license, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Montgomery police arrested Woodward in June 2011, after the man was stopped for speeding and fled on foot. Woodward pleaded guilty in February to aggravated DUI and aggravated driving while his license was revoked.

With spring break coming up, many people will be relaxing and nursing a beer by the pool, the lake, or the grill. When moving from spot to spot, however, leave that half-empty beer behind.

Under Illinois’ open container law, it’s illegal to drive with an open container of alcohol in the car. Even if it’s a passenger in the backseat sipping a Corona or carrying a re-corked bottle of wine, the driver can be charged.

If you find yourself being pulled over with an open container in the car, here are some issues you should know about. The following is not legal advice, just some things to consider.

Last Friday night, a 26-year-old man who was reportedly high on cocaine was arrested after he rear-ended an ambulance on a ramp leading from the Kennedy Expressway to the Tri-State Tollway. Illinois State Police charged Dominik Mach with DUI and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident the Chicago Tribune reports.

While many people think of alcohol when they hear “DUI,” most, if not all, DUI statutes also punish those who drive under the influence of drugs.

U.S. investigators recently located fugitive Kyung Ho Song in South Korea, 16 years after he fled Cook County to avoid DUI and reckless homicide charges. Song allegedly caused a drunken accident that killed single-mother Sonia Naranjo, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Since Song’s disappearance, the police, country prosecutors, federal agents, and the Justice Department all played a role in locating the man. However, one official asserted that their efforts were largely ineffective because of a lack of communication among the agencies.

On Wednesday, new details came out regarding a bizarre DUI accident that involved a truck, a horse, and a security guard, the Chicago Tribune reports. The incident culminated in the death of Michelle Eustis, a 25-year-old mother of one.

In January, Angus Lake, a 42-year-old Crete man, pleaded guilty to DUI charges in the death of Eustis, his girlfriend. But it wasn’t until Wednesday, at Lake’s sentencing hearing, that the whole story of the incident was revealed.

Matt McCutcheon, Grayslake police chief, was arrested last Friday night and charged with DUI, the Chicago Tribune reports. McCutcheon was turning onto Route 45 in Silverlake when he struck another car.

When police arrived at the scene, McCutcheon was standing by his car and swaying, almost losing his balance as he pulled out his wallet to show his police badge to the officers. The police chief was also carrying a loaded 9mm handgun tucked into his waistline.

A motorist was arrested and charged with DUI on Monday for driving over a mile in the wrong direction on Edens Expressway, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Fortunately, the driver was stopped before he could cause an accident on the expressway.

Oddly, the incident is one of many cases of wrong-way driving that have plagued the Chicago area in recent months. Several people have been killed in such incidents.