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June 2012 Archives

In Honor of Weed Ticketing, Here Are The Drugged Driving Laws

Wednesday afternoon, the Chicago City Council finally made a necessary move to decriminalize authorize tickets for pot possession instead of arrests, reports NBC Chicago. Though they were careful to point out that the new measure would not decriminalize marijuana, the ordinance does allow cops to hand out a hefty ticket instead of arresting the pot possessor.

There are a few limitations to the law. The possession ticket limit is 15 grams or less. Arrests are still mandated for those caught smoking in public or possessing weed near a public park or school. Anyone under 17 or lacking proper identification will face arrest as well.

DUI Arrest Rates Highlight Emphasis on Drunk Driving Enforcement

Depending on a department's budget and crime rates, the emphasis on drunk driving enforcement naturally will vary from department to department. For example, Chicago is probably too distracted by a rising murder rate and gang violence to put as much of an emphasis on DUI patrols as a more rural county, such as Pope.

Naturally, you might be curious to know how much your local law enforcement agency emphasizes DUI enforcement. The Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists is an organization that, thanks to state funding, surveys local department and compares their arrests and arrest rates. This gives some insight into each department's enforcement levels for 2011, though it is far from perfect.

'Uber' App Giving Out Free Cab Rides Today Through Wednesday

This is convenient. Imagine a world where you can get plastered and then get a ride home with a tap on the ol' iPhone or Android. Apparently, it's been around for a while, but in honor of their expansion into cab rides on demand, and probably for the sake of free publicity, one competitor, Uber is handing out free rides for the next few days, reports NBC Chicago.

We're happy to oblige on the word of mouth, Uber. Especially if it saves a few readers from a DUI charge or worse.

Hanin Goma, Drugged Driver that Killed Kid, Indicted

Back in May, we discussed the preventable tragedy of 9-year-old Carter Vo's death, which resulted from a drugged driver's chain-reaction collision. Though it was pretty much a foregone conclusion after Hanin Goma, 23, of Skokie confessed, the grand jury officially indicted her on charges for the child's death, reports the Chicago Tribune.

The accident occurred when Goma, who admitted to smoking marijuana earlier in the day and had methamphetamines in her system, collided with a Ford Transit Van at the intersection of Main Street and St. Louis Avenue.

Drunk Driver Hits Bus Full of Drunk People, Spills Their Booze

Andy Darrell Taylor has been charged with driving under the influence, as well as ruining the party, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. At about 2:38 a.m., Taylor was piloting his Ford Expedition while allegedly under the influence. He collided with a "party bus".

What is a "party bus"? Well, it's a bus that takes revelers bar-hopping. There's also a lot of drinking inside of the bus. Kyesha Shaw, 24, was on the bus when the collision occurred. The occupants were dancing until the collision, when bottles began to fly.

Yep, the collision caused them to spill the booze. Party foul!

Felony DUI on an ATV Results in the Death of a Pony

Got a DUI on an ATV due to T-boning a horse? You might be a redneck.

Is this the most embarrassing way to get a felony? To be sure, there are worse. But this one ranks right up there. Quintin P. Wissmiller, 33, of Yorkville, was driving along, allegedly intoxicated, when his ATV collided with a pony that had escaped a local ranch, reports ABC 7 Chicago. He ended up in the hospital and the pony ended up euthanized.

He probably thought it was safe to take a drunken ride on an ATV in the middle of nowhere. After all, what are the odds of getting caught on Bisbin Road and Helmar Road? Is that intersection even paved?

Is This Guy the Dumbest DUI Offender Yet?

It's one thing to make the stupid decision to drive drunk. It's another to allegedly drive drunk for the fourth time with an open container in front of a police station, while almost hitting a police car -- and trying to bribe the cop with a flash drive full of stolen credit card and Social Security numbers -- all on a revoked driver's license. And this wasn't his first DUI, reports the Chicago Tribune.

You see, Martin Johnson has a history. He has three prior DUIs, from 2001, 2003, and 2006. He has been arrested eight times for driving on a suspended license. That license, by the way, will not be eligible for reinstatement until 2021, or later depending on what suspension is added due to the new charges.

Drugged Driving, Road Rage, and a Dead Bystander

Michael J. Moreno faces a lot of time thanks to a 15 minutes of stupidity. According to the Daily Herald, Moreno was in the midst of a road rage battle and possible chase with a 16-year-old girl in a grey Honda, when he made a left turn while failing to yield. An oncoming motorcycle collided with the side of his vehicle. The motorcyclist died.

But the story did not end there. Moreno took off. He was eventually caught, and he didn't go quietly. Police also found weed on Moreno. After a blood test confirmed that he had it in his system, he admitted that he had smoked earlier that day.

Fake ID Could Result in More Than Getting Bounced From a Bar

McLovin' did it, and it resulted in the best night ever! Rusty Griswold, a.k.a Nick Pappagiorgio did it too, and he walked away with multiple free cars. What's the worst that could possibly happen for using a fake ID? You get kicked out of a bar?

Well, no. The worst that could possibly happen is a felony offense. Under Illinois law, fraudulent, or fake, IDs and driver's licenses are punishable as either a misdemeanor or a felony.

Man Caught Driving Wrong Way, Wanted For Driving Wrong Way

Victor Rocha was driving along, while allegedly intoxicated, when he was stopped for driving against traffic near the intersection of Orleans and Superior.

Wait. That was last time.

Victor Rocha was driving along, while allegedly intoxicated, when he was stopped for driving against traffic on the Eisenhower Expressway.

That's better. (See? The title wasn't a typo.)

'Extraordinary' Language an Out for Drunk Driver That Killed 5?

The tragic 2007 crash that killed 5 Osewego teens is the driving under the influence case that just won't go away.

According to the Chicago Tribune, back in 2007, Sandra Vasquez, then 23, was driving a car with eight teenagers packed in. She had been drinking and was travelling at more than 70 mph when she swerved across the oncoming lane and into a light pole.

Five of the teens died. The rest were injured, as was Vasquez.

The Suspension

When a driver is arrested for driving under the influence, she faces a litany of penalties, from jail time to fines to a suspension of their driver's license.

The Illinois Implied Consent Law states that motorists who are suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs are required to (and have already impliedly consented to) take either a blood, breath, or urine test. The test will measure their blood alcohol concentration.

Like Father, Like Son; DUIs, Motorcycles, and LSD

What happens when a man takes a powerful hallucinogen and then rides a motorcycle? He crashes. What happens when his son is drunk, takes the same drugs,and rides a motorcycles? He also crashes.

And then they got DUIs, reports CBS Chicago.

The father, 53, of Norridge, was riding a blue 2003 Harley Davidson when, for some unknown reason, he was thrown from the bike.