Drunken driving is universally regarded as a frustratingly preventable evil. Though many cases are simple mistakes of someone having just one too many and getting pulled over, too many times, that preventable mistake leads to another person's death or dismemberment.
Many of our most-read posts over the past 12 months dealt with such tragic mistakes. Others dealt with the flip-side: DUI defense.
Without further ado, here are the Top 10 Chicago DUI stories of 2012:
The Carly Rousso case struck a nerve for many people in Highland Park. A young woman from a prominent local family plowed into a family on a sidewalk, killing a 5-year-old girl. Rousso was allegedly "huffing" an aerosol inhalant before the accident. Many were questioning the hush-hush nature of the initial arrest and charging process. Eventually, when the test results came back positive, she was charged in connection with the child's death.
A judge gets pulled over after swerving across multiple lanes. He reportedly resists arrest, necessitating the use of pepper spray. A blood test comes back with an illegally high blood alcohol content. Based on the alleged facts, it should have been an easy conviction. However, due to a little luck and some brilliant legal wrangling that led all the way to the appeals court, he was acquitted.
Charles Kimbrough was working hard, unloading a beer truck in the middle of the afternoon, when he was tragically and ironically killed by an alleged drunken driver who also had a suspended license. Walter Thompson then tried to flee the scene, but failed. He was charged with multiple felonies.
The defendant in this case tried to excuse his fatal DUI by arguing that the opiates he took, with alcohol, were legally prescribed. Unfortunately for Mr. Sord, that's almost certainly not going to work in court, as the Illinois DUI statute prohibits driving under the influence of intoxicating drugs, legal or not.
This late entry (published just four days before the new year) discussed an answer to one of the most frequently asked questions about DUI: Can you trick the breath test? The short answer: Yes. Though chewing on pennies and other urban legends are unsurprisingly ineffective, a driver's rate of breathing before blowing into the machine can significantly affect the measured BAC, making it read higher or lower than your true blood alcohol content.
Yep, we're a bit of a tease. Though we promised 10, these are only the first five. The remaining five will appear later this week.