Archive for December, 2012

Holidays a Busy Time for DUIs

December 31st, 2012 at 8:26 pm

Michael Izeta, 26, has been charged with felony aggravated DUI after hitting an 87-year-old pedestrian in the Uptown neighborhood in mid-December, according to Chicago CBS Local. The accident happened early in the morning, and Izeta initially left the scene of the crash, a punishable charge in and of itself. He was quickly apprehended by police, and then “charged with drunk driving, running a red light, driving without a license or insurance and other traffic violations,” according to CBS Local. The pedestrian was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, and was listed in critical condition. Izeta was later charged with the felony aggravated DUI, and was scheduled to appear for a bond hearing.  

The holiday season is an especially busy time for police dealing with drunk drivers, and this year the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) is launching the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign to combat it. According to a recent press release from the NHTSA, more than $7 million is being spent in national TV and radio advertising in an effort to curb drunk-driving deaths.

The NHTSA released 2011 drunk driving statistics that show declines in 27 states, “with four states leading the nation in declines in alcohol impaired driving fatalities.” Texas, New York, South Carolina, and Tennessee led the nation, all with more than 30 fewer fatalities. Colorado, Florida, and New Jersey saw increases of 30 or more alcohol-related fatalities in 2011.

Most communities, the Chicago-area included, offer sober ride programs that a person can call in lieu of driving drunk. With the holiday crackdown and the new initiatives being launched by the NHTSA, now’s a better time than ever to take advantage of programs such as these.

If you or someone you know has been involved in an alcohol-related crash, don’t go through it alone. Contact an experienced Chicago-area DUI attorney today.

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City to Pay Out Millions in Drunk Driving Suit

December 28th, 2012 at 2:25 pm

Richard Chang, a computer scientist who was earning $80,000 a year, suffered major brain injuries, rendering him unable to return to his profession and also unable to achieve his previous level of independence after being hit by a drunk driver, according to the Chicago Tribune. The crash happened in 2011, when Chang was pinned under the truck of a city worker who drunkenly plowed his pickup into a crowd on a Gold Coast sidewalk. Chang wasn’t the only one injured in the crash—other victims, according to the Tribune, included nanny Jennifer Anton, “who was pushing a stroller with a 20-month-old girl,” and who “shoved the child out of harm’s way before she was hit and severely injured.”

It was announced this December that the city of Chicago was poised to pay $6.25 million to Chang for his injury and permanent disability after Chang and his lawyers argued that the city failed to properly supervise its worker. Dwight Washington, the man who was driving the truck, is currently serving a nine-year prison term “after pleading guilty to four counts of aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol.” An open bottle of brandy was found stuck under the gas pedal in the city truck, and Washington’s blood-alcohol level was measured at 0.183 percent, more than twice the legal limit following the crash.

While the million-dollar suit will reimburse Chang’s family for the estimated $572,000 they’ve already spent on medical expenses, it will never bring back the scientist’s brain or livelihood. And it’s not the only time this month that the city of Chicago is reimbursing a family for one of its worker’s negligence: the city also endorsed a payout of $750,000 to Juhnna Hardin, a 35-year-old who was killed in 2006 after being run over by Office Mark Farmer who sped through an intersection without checking for traffic.

If you or someone you know has been injured or killed by a city worker, especially one who was drinking and driving like Washington, you’re most likely eligible for compensation. Contact a dedicated Illinois DUI attorney today.

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DUI Charge in Fatal Crash

December 23rd, 2012 at 8:02 pm

The Chicago Tribune recently reported that Kevin Santiago has been charged with a barrage of charges in a fatal crash in Tinley Park. The crash happened at the intersection of 183rd Street and 80th Avenue.

Santiago struck a car that was driven by a 50 year old woman. The woman was rushed to the hospital but passed away approximately six hours after being transported. Santiago is being held on a bond of $300,000.00 based on charges of reckless homicide, driving about insurance, disobeying a traffic signal, aggravated driving under the influence and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

This time of year is always a busy one on roads all over the world. College kids are home from school and everyone is in the mood for celebration. While celebration is wonderful and can be fun, do not dampen the occasion by getting behind the wheel after you have been drinking. Make sure that you designate a driver when you know that you will be attending a drinking event make arrangements to take a cab home. The alternative is to enjoy libations in the comfort of your home and provide a safe place for your friends to crash after a few drinks.

If you find yourself being arrested for a suspected DUI, it is within your rights to have a lawyer there to protect your interests. You are allowed to have a lawyer there from the preliminary questioning and do not have to wait until charges are formally filed against you. It would be in your best interest to have an experienced and knowledgeable Illinois DUI defense attorney at your side whether this is your first DUI charge or your fifth. Being behind the wheel in an impaired state does not have to automatically lead to a conviction.

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