Archive for December, 2012

Drunk Driving Victim Cashing In

December 21st, 2012 at 8:01 pm

As reported by the Chicago Tribune, Richard Chang and his wife, Leeann, are just one of four lawsuits that has been levied against the city of Chicago as a result of a May 2011 crash.

Dwight Washington, who is now a former city worker, was behind the wheel of a pickup truck and was on duty at the time. He was driving his duty truck under the influence when he drove the truck onto a crowded sidewalk in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood. Upon inspection of the scene, an open bottle of alcohol was found in the city truck that Washington was driving. He was also found to have a blood alcohol level twice the legal limit. His blood alcohol level was at 0.183 percent at the time of the accident.

Robert Chang was pinned under the truck sustaining injuries that have deemed him disabled. He also suffered brain damage. His wife was also injured but her injuries were far less severe than those of her husband. The case has been settled with a $6.25 million award that has already been endorsed by the Financial Committee. It is reported that Chang has already amassed over half a million dollars in medical expenses.

Washington entered a plea of guilty on the four counts of aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol that was levied against him. He is now serving a nine year prison term in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

While it is never advisable to get behind the wheel of any vehicle after having drinks, our judgment is often clouded after drinking and this is what leads to situations such as this. If you find yourself behind the wheel and subsequently under arrest as a result of driving under the influence, you need to retain an experienced Illinois DUI lawyer to represent your case.

Weeks pleads guilty to DUI charge

December 15th, 2012 at 10:48 am

Tabitha S. Weeks, 31, from rural Benton left a Franklin County courtroom in handcuffs after her attorney Samuel G. Beggs negotiated a plea of guilt.

State’s attorney Evan Owens shared that the attorneys had reached an agreement; they added Weeks guilty plea to one count of aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol, a Class 2 felony.

Owens said that Weeks would serve about 85 percent of the sentence, or six years, in the Illinois Department of Corrections, with two years of mandatory supervised release to follow.

In addition to her time served, Weeks will also pay $1,000 in fees plus court costs, a $750 DUI equipment fee, $2,500 in restitution to Marla Payne, $1,000 to the county’s anti-crime fund, and a $250 DNA fee.

Due to the plea agreement, Owens said that the remaining nine counts would be dismissed.

Weeks was accused of a traffic crash on June 10 that took the life of Craig A. Payne, 41, of Bonnie. Owens said that if the case had gone to trial, Marla and William Payne would have been called to the witness stand. The two would have testified that they saw Weeks traveling the wrong direction on Rend Lake Dam Road prior to the crash.

Owens said that after Weeks was air-lifted from that scene and transported to Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, a sample of her blood was drawn. The sample indicated that her alcohol-blood level was about the 0.8 legal limit.

The Illinois State Police also tested the sample in the Springfield crime lab and found the same result as the hospital, according to Owens.

Owens also said that Weeks was traveling above the posted speed limit when the crash occurred. He said that Payne slowed to 20 miles per hour and attempted to avoid the crash, but failed because of the roadway that stretches across the lake.

After accepting the plea agreement, Judge Tom Dinn also advised Weeks of her trial and appeal rights. He explained that she would know exactly what would happen to her prior to accepting the plea deal and be asked if she understood.

Weeks shared that it was her own decision to enter the negotiated plea and added that that is what she wanted to do, as the Payne family huddled together in tears outside the courtroom.

Dinn told Weeks that she also had to submit to DNA testing because she is a first-offender.

Dinn added that, had the case gone to trial, the sentence could have run in the 3 to 14 year range and Weeks could have received up to 48 months of probation as well.

If you have gotten into trouble with a DUI this holiday season, contact Ramsell and Associates, Attorneys  at Law, L.L.C. These Illinois DUI attorneys can help you with your DUI case.

DUI enforcement increase leads to multiple arrests

December 13th, 2012 at 10:43 am

The Elmhurst Police Department also reported 26 traffic accidents in town over the Thanksgiving weekend. Apart from the period of rain on Thanksgiving Day, local weather conditions were relatively mild for the holiday. The weather, however, did not stop Elmhurst police from tending to at least 26 traffic accidents in town, two of which involved alcohol.

Thanks to a grant from the Illinois Department of Transportation, the weekend also included another enhanced DUI enforcement for local police. Beginning November 12 through November 25, the increased DUI enforcement provided for additional police officers on the streets during night hours.

The following DUI arrests were reported between November 22 and 25

Mario-Cruz, 35, Bensenville, was arrested and charged with a DUI, possession of cannabis, driving without a license, and driving without insurance. Police pulled him over for speeding at Diversey amd York at 2:41 p.m. on November 22.

Nicholas Palumbo, 47, Addison, was arrested and charged with a DUI, driving too fast for conditions, no seat belt, improper lane use, and illegal transportation of open alcohol. Police pulled him over after he hit a guardrail at Route 83 and North Avenue at 11:12 p.m. on November 23.

Antina Redmond, 31, Lansing, was arrested and charged with a DUI and drving with a suspended license. He was pulled over for disobeying a traffic control device at St. Charles and Oakland at 3:15 a.m. on November 24.

Shane Brooks, 20, was arrested and charged with DUI and consumption of alcohol by a minor. He was pulled over for improper lane use at 4:01 a.m. on November 24.

Allison L. Whitcomb, 19, was arrested and charged with DUI and consumption of alcohol by a minor, and driving without insurance. Police pulled her over for disobeying a traffic control device at 1:01 a.m. on November 25.

Along with these people, many others were pulled over and charged with DUIs over the holiday weekend. If you have been charged with a DUI, contact an Illinois DUI attorney. Attorneys at Ramsell & Associates, Attorneys at Law, L.L.C. can help you.

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