Archive for the ‘Holiday’ Category

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.

Roving Checkpoints Used to Stop DUI

December 6th, 2013 at 10:42 am

Roving Checkpoints Used to Stop DUIThe holidays can be a busy time for local law enforcement when it comes to dealing with drunk driving and DUI-related crashes. During the Thanksgiving holiday, for example, Elgin police officers were out in force, participating in what was billed as a “No Refusal Weekend,” according to the Chicago Tribune. The initiative enforced a policy that required all persons arrested for impaired driving to submit to chemical testing “to determine if charges for Driving Under the Influence are appropriate,” according to the Chicago Tribune. The crackdown was part of a statewide initiative known as “Click It Or Ticket” and “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaigns.

It wasn’t only in Elgin that Chicago-area police officers were on alert for DUIs in the area. According to a press release issued by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office the week before Thanksgiving, “Illinois State Police and nearly 250 local law enforcement agencies” participated in a crack down on seat belt law violators and conducted roving DUI patrols in prime hours around the holidays. These roving patrols are thought to catch DUI drivers much more frequently and reliably than holiday sobriety checkpoints. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, “while traffic snarls are touted by many traffic safety advocates as necessary to catch drunk drivers, their effectiveness leaves much to be desired.”

The Review-Journal cites statistics from all over the country to purport that roving checkpoints, such as those used over Thanksgiving weekend in Chicago, are a better option to catch drunk drivers. In Ohio, for instance, “police conducted 135 sobriety checkpoints between January 1 and September of this year, but more than a third of those checkpoints yielded zero drunk driving arrests.” These checkpoints ended up accounting for less than 1 percent of “all those stopped for impaired driving,” the Review-Journal states.

One reason for this could be because people are able to alert one another to the possibility of a police checkpoint. This isn’t the case with roving checkpoints, such as those employed in the Chicago area over Thanksgiving. With the anticipated (but not yet evaluated) success of these roving checkpoints, it is expected that the Chicago Police Department will continue in this vein throughout the holiday season.

If you or someone you know is facing DUI charges that resulted from a roving checkpoint or any other situation, don’t go through it alone. Contact an experienced DUI attorney today.

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