Archive for September, 2013

Charges Re-filed in DUI Death

September 28th, 2013 at 3:35 pm

The Alton Telegraph is reporting that a 54 year-old Whitehall man is facing charges again that he drunkenly caused a vehicle accident that killed a female passenger.

KerryA charge of aggravated driving under the influence has been filed against James McEvers for the November 2011 death of 23-year-old Alisha Connors of Roodhouse.

In the original accident report, Illinois State Police said that McEvers was driving on County Road 850 E north of County Road 1850 N near Belltown.  At approximately 11 p.m., his vehicle left the road at a curve in the road. Police said McEvers overcorrected and lost control of the vehicle, causing it to cross back over the road and slam into a ditch.

Connors was not wearing a seat belt. McEvers was wearing a seat belt and he and another passenger were not injured, according to the report. At the time of the accident, McEvers was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and improper lane use.

At the time the original charges were filed, former Greene County State’s Attorney Matt Goetten says he had to drop the charge because a key witness was on medical leave. Goetten, who is now with the Illinois Appellate Prosecutor’s office, was concerned he would not be able to bring the case to trial within the statutory time limit, and has now re-filed the charges.

McEvers is currently free on $50,000 bond. Aggravated DUI in Illinois is a Class 4 Felony. If convicted, a person faces a loss of full driving privileges for a minimum of 1 year, possible imprisonment for up to 12 years and a maximum fine of $25,000. If you’ve been charged with DUI, contact an experienced Illinois DUI attorney to ensure your rights are protected in the criminal court system.

Boating Season May be Slowing, but New DUI Law Takes Effect

September 24th, 2013 at 9:19 pm

Boating Season May Be Slowing, But New DUI Law Takes Effect IMAGEWith the advent of autumn and with summer slipping away, it seems that boating season is just about over. Yet after the water clears has proven an important moment in Illinois, where recreational boating is as common as deep-dish pizza, to discuss the law and culture surrounding the activity. According to a mid-September op-ed in the Chicago Tribune, “most people wouldn’t dare brandish an open container while behind the wheel of a car. But beer and boating go together.” In the past few years DUI boating accidents have become an all-too-common tale. According to Northern Public Radio, “there were 101 boating-related accidents on Illinois waters” in 2012, “resulting in 17 deaths and 77 injuries.” In 13 of the accidents and five of the fatalities alcohol was a contributing factor.

As a result, earlier this summer Governor Pat Quinn signed into law new legislation meant to curb such DUI boating accidents. The new legislation was announced after ten-year-old Tony Borcia, “boating with his dad and siblings on a string of lakes connected by the Fox River,” fell off his tube and was struck by a speedboat driver who was drunk and high on cocaine. The new law, according to Northern Public Radio, “says a boat operator who’s intoxicated or refuses to submit to blood alcohol testing could lose his license to drive a car.” Yet it only applies “if there’s a serious accident or death,” Northern Public Radio Reports.

The new law goes into effect on January 1 of next year, according to Fox News. This means that the boating season will be significantly impacted next year, and that all boat owners and lake revelers in the Chicago-area should be prepared for a different type of boating season. Not only could the new legislation affect a person’s eligibility to drive on land, according to the Tribune op-ed it’d also “require boat operators born after Jan. 1, 1990 to have a safety certificate from the Department of Natural Resources. Another would require boats towing a person on a tube or skis to display an orange safety flag.”

If you or someone you know has been charged with DUI, either on land or on water don’t go through it alone. Contact a dedicated Illinois DUI attorney today.

 

School Bus Driver Arrested for DUI

September 21st, 2013 at 9:18 pm

Jill Beebe, 42, of South Elgin, was charged in mid-September for operating a school bus under the influence of alcohol, according to the Chicago Tribune. Beebe’s bond was set at $100,000 after a school employee smelled alcohol on her breath when letting students off at a West Chicago school. “The school district contacted the bus company that employs Beebe, which ordered her to stop operating the bus,” the Tribune reports. “A police officer arrived and administered field sobriety tests and then arrested the driver,” according to a news release cited by the Tribune. Getting behind the wheel of a school bus while intoxicated carries an even higher punishment than behind the wheel of a car. According to the Tribune, Beebe is now facing charges of Aggravated DUI, which is a felony, punishable of up to three years in prison.  School Bus Driver Arrested for DUI IMAGE

The number of incidents involving school bus drivers operating the vehicle while intoxicated has risen in recent years, or at least garnered more media attention than in decades past. In fact, earlier this year a bill was proposed in New York state that would “greatly expand random drug and alcohol testing for school bus drivers while also imposing stronger penalties on intoxicated school bus drivers,” according to School Transportation News. The bill came after at least four incidents were reported in New York involving school bus drivers who were arrested for DUI, “including a much-publicized incident when the driver crashed his bus into a Syosset home while transporting five young students,” reports School Transportation News.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and reported in the 2013 Illinois DUI Fact Book, “an average of one alcohol-impaired driving fatality occurs every 53 minutes.” In Beebe’s instance the driver was apprehended before any accident occurred, but operating a school bus (or transporting any child under the age of 16) is considered an automatic Aggravated DUI charge regardless if anyone was injured or not.

If you or someone you know has been charged with DUI, don’t go through it alone. Contact a dedicated Illinois DUI attorney today.

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