Archive for March, 2013
March 31st, 2013 at 3:13 pm
According to the Chicago Tribune, a judge has set bail at $500,000 for a 35-year-old North Chicago police officer who remains hospitalized after being accused of causing an accident that took the life of two men last weekend. Officer Terrell Garrett reportedly was celebrating his birthday when he drove drunk north on Lakeshore Drive in the wrong direction for more than a mile. The collision occurred between Diversey Parkway and Belmont Avenue. Both men were pronounced dead at the scene. A blood draw revealed that Garrett’s blood alcohol level was more than twice the Illinois legal limit for driving at the time of the accident.
In addition to his bail, the judge ordered that Garrett wear an electronic monitoring device and not consume alcohol if released on bail. Garrett also has been placed on administrative leave from his job with the North Chicago Police Department.
Garrett is now facing two counts of reckless homicide and two counts of aggravated driving under the influence, which are both felonies. He also has been charged with misdemeanor DUI and a traffic violation for driving the wrong way. Garrett reportedly is the sole custodial parent of his two-year-old daughter.
As this case illustrates, even the most upstanding of citizens can sometimes make a mistake. Unfortunately, a mistake such as this can have devastating consequences, both for the victims and their families, as well as for the accused. Garrett is facing substantial jail time if convicted, and will lose his driver’s license for an extended period of time, as well. Furthermore, it is likely that his career as a police officer is over if he is convicted of these felony charges.
If you are facing serious DUI-related charges as Garrett is in this case, you will need the assistance of an experienced DuPage County DUI attorney. By mounting a strong defense to such charges as quickly as possible following your arrest, you can place yourself in a better position to minimize the consequences of these charges.
March 25th, 2013 at 3:12 pm
An Illinois man was sentenced in mid-March to an eight-year prison term for a drunken driving crash that killed his 7-year-old daughter, according to MyFoxChicago. Paul Carlson of Petersburg “tearfully told a Springfield court that he loved his daughter Kealy Carlson ‘more than words can express.’” In 2011, Carlson, 28, was driving a Jeep while intoxicated, when the Jeep went down an embankment and into a ditch. “He was found guilty of aggravated DUI,” according to MyFoxChicago, and the sentence included two years of mandatory supervised release. A relative of the victim’s mother “says the family was satisfied with the punishment,” and even Carlson’s attorney said that his client is an alcoholic and that if he could go back and give his life for his daughter’s he’d do it in a heartbeat.
According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), “adults drank too much and got behind the wheel about 112 million times in 2010—that’s 300,000 incidents of drinking and driving each day.” That same year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and reported by MADD, 211 children were killed in drunk driving accidents. The large majority of these children, 131 (62 percent) were riding with the drunk driver, as was the scenario in the Carlson case. Nearly 30 people die every day as a result of drunk driving crashes in America, costing the United States $132 billion every year. According to the Center for Disease Control statistics, “of the 1,210 traffic deaths among children ages 0 to 14 years old in 2010, 17 percent involved an alcohol-impaired driver.”
Carlson, after serving his prison term, may also be required to install an Ignition Interlock Device in his car and could face community service time as well, according to DUIDrivingLaws.org.
If you or someone you know is facing charges similar to those that were brought against Carlson, don’t go through it alone. Contact a dedicated Illinois DUI attorney today.
Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net
March 22nd, 2013 at 2:20 pm
A former West Chicago man was sentenced to 10 years in prison on February 28 for driving under the influence the 11th time, according to a recent article in the Chicago Tribune. Michael J. Picon, 42, had pleaded guilty earlier this year to one count of aggravated DUI and a count of aggravated driving with a revoked license.
Picon’s latest DUI charge happened in Kane County in 2012. A Kane County Forest Preserve officer noticed Picon pull his pickup truck to the side of the road. The officer smelled alcohol in Picon’s breath and found an open can of beer in the truck next to 11 unopened cans. Picon told the officer that he had been drinking alcohol at his friend’s home before the officer stopped him. Picon also failed a field sobriety test, according to police.
Picon’s numerous DUI sentences made him eligible for Class X sentencing, meaning he faced at least a six-year prison term and could have been sent to prison for 30 years. Judge John Barsanti sentenced the repeat offender to 10 years in prison. Picon also has to serve a concurrent five-year sentence for the revoked license violations. Picon has been arrested 25 times for driving with a revoked or suspended license in DuPage, Kane, and Rock Island counties.
Facing a DUI charge is always difficult and challenging, especially when you have a previous DUI charge on your record. If you have been caught driving under the influence, the help of a dedicated DUI lawyer will be invaluable to you in fighting your charge. Contact a knowledgeable Illinois DUI attorney at once.