Archive for September, 2013
September 17th, 2013 at 2:37 pm
Most of the time the prosecution has to fight for a DUI conviction. Not so, in one Ohio case in which a man who could have otherwise walked free made a shocking video confession to DUI. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, in a 3½ minute video posted in mid-September, “Matthew Cordle admitted he killed a man from a Columbus suburb and said he ‘made a mistake’ when he decided to drive that night.” The accident occurred on June 22 of this year, and Vincent Canzani was the victim of the incident. Cordle, from a different Columbus suburb, is “being charged with aggravated vehicular homicide,” a felony charge, and also a “misdemeanor count of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol,” according to the Sun-Times. Since it’s been posted on YouTube, Cordle’s confession has garnered more than 1.7 million times. “He ends the video by pleading with viewers not to drink and drive,” states the Sun-Times.
According to a publication issued by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), “drunk driving is the most frequently committed violent crime in the United States.” Half a million people are injured and thousands killed by drunk drivers each year. According to MADD, more than 8 percent of the American population has a problem with alcohol, and more than half of American adults have a close family member who is or has been an alcoholic. About a quarter of American children are exposed to alcohol abuse or dependence in their family, reports MADD.
The penalties for DUI in Illinois are strict. The first DUI conviction, according to the Illinois State Police Department, can carry a minimum of one-year loss of full driving privileges, a possible imprisonment of up to one year, and a fine of up to $2,500. And that’s just for a DUI—not counting if anyone was injured or killed. In any accident in which great bodily harm was incurred, the drunk driver can be slapped with an Aggravated DUI charge, such as the one Cordle is facing. Aggravated DUI is a Class 4 felony.
If you or someone you know has been accused of DUI, don’t go through it alone. Contact an experienced DUI attorney today.
September 13th, 2013 at 11:35 pm
Common knowledge dictates that the number of DUIs has steadily been declining in recent years. This is true, according to the Illinois DUI Fact Book, released by the office of the secretary of state, Jesse White. In 2009, there were 45,946 arrests for DUI in the state of Illinois, and in 2011, according to the Fact Book, there were 38,704. That’s a decline of nearly 16 percent in just two years, and could be attributed to greater efforts made by the state to not only catch but also to prosecute those slapped with a DUI charge. These same statistics state that 76 percent of DUI offenders are male, with men aged 21–24 ranking with the highest DUI arrest rate, about 17 per 1,000 licensed drivers in the state in 2011. And while all these trends are good news for drivers all across Illinois, there’s another side—a DUI trend on the upswing: women.
According to the Chicago Tribune, “research shows that while the number of male drivers arrested for DUI has seen declines since 1995, the number of female drivers arrested has been rising.” In 2011, women drivers accounted for nearly a quarter of all nationwide arrests for DUI, “compared with about 10 percent in the early 1980s,” according to the Tribune. Cathy Stanley, a former addictions counselor and current Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists’ supervisor, told the Tribune that the increase could be due in part to the sluggish economic situation. “The multiple demands of career, mother, home manager, community volunteer, and related roles became particularly acute in the recession,” she said.
It’s not that women haven’t been alcoholics, Stanley told the Tribune, but with the recession, “more of them are working and so we’re seeing more of them on the roads,” she said. According to the Illinois DUI Fact Book, 85 percent of all people arrested for DUI are first-time offenders. If Stanley’s reasoning is correct, it can be deduced that several of these first-time offenders were women.
If you or someone you know has been accused of DUI, don’t go through it alone. Contact a dedicated Chicago-area DUI attorney today.
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.
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.