Archive for December, 2013

Man Charged in Christmas DUI Crash That Killed Daughter

December 30th, 2013 at 7:26 pm

Drinking and DrivingJeffrey Smith, 26, of South Wolcott Avenue, has been charged in a drunk driving Christmas Eve crash that killed his 8-year-old daughter. According to the Chicago Tribune. Smith, who was driving a Chevrolet sedan, struck a curb and then rammed into a tree. His daughter, Lauren, was “trapped in the car when it rolled over on its side,” the Tribune reports. Her father was also critically injured and as of December 27 was still in the hospital. Regardless, Smith was “charged with a felony count of aggravated DUI and was also cited for negligent driving, failure to reduce speed and failure to adhere to child restraint regulations,” according to the Chicago Tribune.

Lauren’s mother, Loressa Hall, was skeptical that Lauren’s father was drunk at the time of the accident, telling the Tribune that Smith is a devoted father “who she believes would not have had more than a single drink,” knowing that he’d have to drive Lauren. Police say that it is doubtful that Lauren had been wearing seatbelt at the time of the crash. According to a different Tribune article, the “3rd grader was looking forward to opening presents, especially a karaoke machine, as she returned from a Christmas Eve family dinner in the south suburbs.” They were on their way to Lauren’s grandmother’s house at the time of the crash. “Firefighters freed Lauren in 20 minutes” from the mangled car, reports the Tribune, “but their efforts to save her life were unsuccessful.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and reported by LifeSafer.com, “data shows that the daily death toll from drunk driving during the holiday season is significantly more than the rest of the year.” Between 2001 and 2005, for example, there were an average of 36 deaths per day resulting from an alcohol-related crash. “That number increases to 45 per day during the Christmas period and jumps to 54 per day over New Year’s holiday,” according to LifeSafer.com.

If you or someone you know has been accused of DUI or involved in a DUI crash in Chicago, the most important first step is to seek legal counsel. Don’t go through it alone. Contact Ramsell & Associates, Attorneys at Law today.

Man Arrested for DUI After Son Ejected From Window

December 26th, 2013 at 3:19 pm

Franklin Jackson, 46, of League City Texas, faces a “slew of charges after he drove away from the scene of a drunken wreck in Chicago—but didn’t know his 4-year-old son had been ejected from the backseat during the crash and died,” according to the New York Daily News. His wife and other children were in the car while Jackson was driving on the Dan Ryan Expressway when he “suddenly lost control of his SUV and slammed into a guardrail twice.” Neither he nor the mother of the children noticed that not all kids were in the backseat, and the allegedly drunk Jackson “continued down the road until he pulled into a gas station a few blocks away to check on the damage to the gray Ford Expedition.”  Man Arrested for DUI After Son Ejected From Window

It was only then that he and the rest of his family noticed the hole in the back window through which his oldest son, Franklin Jackson Jr., had flown. They immediately turned the SUV around to go look for the boy and arrived just as police were responding to the scene. “Authorities said they found the child unresponsive in a grassy embankment alongside the highway,” according to the New York Daily News. He was immediately rushed to the hospital but could not be saved. Neither his other children, a 3-month-old, and two others, aged 1 and 2, nor Jackson’s wife were injured in the accident.

Police, however, found an empty bottle of vodka and several empty beer cans in the SUV upon investigation. The father was held on $250,000 bail and is facing charges of reckless homicide and aggravated DUI.

According to LawInfo.com, although Jackson is a legal resident of Texas, the trial for the accident in which his son was killed will likely take place in Illinois. Even if you are not a resident of the state in which you were arrested, that state has the right to prosecute you for your offense. “It is important to know that you cannot simply return to your home state and ignore the charges from the other state. The states and territories of the United States are required by the U.S. Constitution to render suspects o the request of another state,” reports LawInfo.com.

If you or someone you know is arrested on charges of DUI in Chicago, the importance of experienced legal counsel cannot be overstated. Contact the Law Offices of Ramsell & Associates Attorneys at Law today.

Names of Drunk Driving Offenders to be Tweeted by Riverside Police

December 22nd, 2013 at 10:29 am

 The Riverside Police Department has announced that it will begin tweeting the names of those arrested for drunk driving. Reported by the Chicago Tribune, Riverside Police Chief Tom Weitzel stated, “I’m hoping that seeing these names, and seeing the amount of arrests that Riverside makes, will send a message.” The decision was made after officers saw an increase in impaired drivers on the road–a decision which will target drivers under the age of 30. Weitzel also noted that this age bracket “accounts for the majority of drunk-driving arrests and also makes up most of the department’s new Twitter following.”

The Illinois Department of Transportation website indicates that although 16-24 year olds make up only 15.52 percent of licensed drivers in the state, they are involved in 38.85 percent of all fatal alcohol-related crashes. And in the state of Illinois, a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or greater is the level at which a driver is considered legally intoxicated. The website also states, “A driver can also be arrested and prosecuted for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) with a BAC in excess of .05 but less than .08.”

Riverside officers will tweet the offenders names, ages, and towns of residence once bond is posted or a court appearance is made. The names of drivers charged with illegal drug use will also be tweeted, as well as names of those arrested for driving with a suspended or revoked license due to drunk driving. In regards to reporting this information to the public, Weitzel stated, “It’s nothing that we’re not already giving out… It’s just that we’re going to be sending it out ourselves, through our social media account.” These reports can viewed via the Twitter handle @pdriverside.

If you have been accused of drunk driving, please contact a an experienced Illinois DUI attorney today. It is important that you seek the legal advice of a professional.

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