Archive for the ‘new law’ tag

Woman Faces Trial for “Huffing” DUI Death

November 25th, 2013 at 3:23 pm

Car CrashNot all DUIs involve alcohol. For Carly Rousso, the “Highland Park woman charged last year with ‘huffing’ a computer cleaning product before the vehicle she was driving struck and killed a 5-year-old girl” was scheduled to face trial this November, according to the Chicago Tribune. Before the trial could begin, however, lawyers debated just what substances count when it comes to driving under the influence, and debated just which kind of intoxicating effects count toward a DUI charge. “The cleaning product police,” according to the Tribune, “say what she inhaled contains difluoroethane, which is not spelled out as an intoxicating substance in the law.”

Rousso, now 19, has been charged with four counts of aggravated DUI and reckless homicide. She is currently out of jail on $500,000 bond. “If convicted on all charges,” reports the Tribune, “she faces up to 26 years in prison, according to prosecutors.” In mid-November, the trial was pushed back, according to HLNtv.com. “A judge is giving attorneys in the case…. more time to develop their arguments about the constitutionality of her charges.”

Her attorneys are expected to argue in the vein that the charges Rousso is facing are too vague, and thus violate due process, according to HLNtv. The defense motion states that “neither the defendant nor any other person of ordinary intelligence can ever know with any certainty whether difuoroethane or any other substances not named in the Act, are prohibited from use.” Rousso’s opposition is expected to argue that Rousso inhaled the substance with the intent of altering her state of mind, and so is therefore culpable for DUI.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, an “estimated 10.3 million people aged 12 or older (or 3.9 percent of adolescents and adults) reported driving under the influence of illicit drugs during the year prior to being surveyed.” This was a higher rate than in 2011, but considerably lower than it was in 2002. Depending on the outcome of Rousso’s case, more unscheduled drugs could be listed as substances banned for consumption and subsequent operation of a motor vehicle.

If you or someone you know has been charged with DUI, don’t go through it alone. Contact Ramsell & Associates Attorneys at Law, LLC today.

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.

 

National Board Considers Changing Legal BAC Limit

September 10th, 2013 at 2:33 pm

Timothy Brown, a senior research associate at the National Advanced Driving Simulator in Iowa, according to the Chicago Tribune, “has put hundreds of drunken drivers behind the wheel.” His job is to simulate and then gather research regarding drunk drivers, to “better understand the difference in driving abilities of someone who is sober, someone who has had a few drinks, and someone who has had a few more drinks.” His work is especially timely, according to the Tribune, as the National Transportation Safety Board has recently announced that it is considering lowering the legal limit of blood alcohol intoxication from .08 to .05. National Board Considers Changing Legal BAC Limit IMAGE

Labor Day Weekend, which just passed, is one of the busiest weekends of the year for drunk driving arrests. This is largely because it’s one of the busiest times of the year for people on the roads: according to the Tribune, an estimated 30 million drivers were out on American highways and byways for the holiday weekend this year. Holiday weekends mean celebrations, and a large number of revelers celebrate with alcohol. Because of this, the Tribune cited that authorities were on high alert for “those who attempt the potentially dangerous mix of drinking and driving. But what constitutes dangerous driving is once again up for debate.”

National Transportation Safety Board Chairwoman Deborah Hersman told the Tribune that drunk (or impaired) driving was a “national epidemic.” Research, according to the Tribune, “suggests that lowering the legal limit of intoxication to .05 could save 500 to 1,000 lives a year.” Yet critics of changing the limit argue that slight alcohol impairment—two glasses of wine at a dinner party, a large beer at a sporting event—doesn’t differ much from “impairment caused by drowsiness, cellphone use, medication, aging” and other conditions.

If you or someone you know has been charged with DUI, regardless of what level your blood alcohol content was measured, don’t go through it alone. The most important first step is to contact a dedicated Chicago-area DUI attorney today.

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