Archive for the ‘Aggravated DUI’ tag

Man Charged with DUI after Slamming into Cop Car

January 23rd, 2014 at 10:41 am

Alex Tapia-Aguilar, 34, of Round Lake, was charged with drunken driving and arrested after slamming into a police car while intoxicated, according to the Chicago Tribune. Tapia-Aguilar was driving on the wrong side of the road when he hit the squad car, and injured a police officer in the process. He is now facing “two counts each of aggravated driving under the influence and DUI,” according to the Chicago Tribune. “After the crash, the officer had to climb out of his window to stop Tapia-Aguilar because of the extent of the damage to his vehicle,” the Tribune reports. The officer was taken to Vista Health System, treated for his injuries, and released. Tapia-Aguilar refused medical help at the scene.

DUI Police Crash IMAGEDamage to both cars was extensive, the Tribune reports. It isn’t clear if sobriety tests were administered immediately following the crash, but Tapia-Aguilar told police that “he thought the car might have been delivering papers,” according to the Tribune. Tapia-Aguilar was also “charged with driving without a valid driver’s license, driving without insurance, improper lane usage, failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident and criminal damage to state-supported property,” the Tribune reports.

Aggravated DUI carries a heavier punishment than DUI, according to the 2014 Illinois DUI Factbook. “Any mandatory term of imprisonment or community service is not subject to suspension or reduction,” the Factbook states. An aggravated DUI can apply to a number of different scenarios including (but not limited to):

  • A third or subsequent DUI
  • DUI committed while driving a school bus carrying one or more persons age 18 or younger
  • DUI resulting in great bodily harm
  • DUI committed without a valid license
  • DUI committed without car insurance
  • DUI committed after a previous conviction for reckless homicide while DUI
  • DUI resulting in death

Illinois is a Zero Tolerance state, which means that if you’re pulled over and your BAC measures .01 or greater you can be ticketed. To have a BAC of .01 a normal adult of any weight needs only to consume one drink in an hour.

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


What is Considered Aggravated DUI in Illinois?

December 11th, 2013 at 10:18 am

illinois aggravated dui lawyerIn Illinois, a person will be charge with a DUI if they are caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In certain cases, a person may be charged with an aggravated DUI, which carries a stiffer sentence. One will be charged with an aggravated DUI in the following cases:

  • For getting a third DUI;
  • For driving a school bus with children on board;
  • For getting into an accident while intoxicated, the accident resulted in great bodily harm and permanent disability or disfigurement to another person, and the drunken driving was the proximate cause of the injuries;
  • For getting into a DUI accident in a school zone when the restricted speed limit is in effect;
  • For proximately causing the death of another during an ATV or boating DUI accident;
  • Getting a DUI without having a license or learner permit;
  • For getting a DUI without knowingly having insurance; or
  • For getting a second DUI if there was a person younger than 16 years old in the car.

The issue of proximate cause lends itself to litigation because it is open to subjective interpretation. Ultimately, the question becomes whether it was foreseeable that one could cause that type of accident/injury by driving while drunk, (i.e. did the person driving under the influence set in motion a chain of events that a reasonable person would expect to lead to the injuries).

Even though the answer may seem obvious, each case is different and will depend on individual circumstances.  Frequently, for example, there is an intervening event that interrupts the chain of causation, which allows a defendant to argue that they were not the proximate cause of the injuries.

Being charged with an aggravated DUI is a serious matter, as a conviction would mean a Class 4 felony. In Illinois, Class 4 felonies can result in a 1 to 3 year prison sentence (no laughing matter).

If you are facing a DUI, do not fight alone. Contact an experienced Illinois DUI defense attorney who can represent you with the experience and professionalism that you deserve.

Man Charged with Aggravated DUI After Killing Cop

November 21st, 2013 at 5:00 pm

rbrb_0423Casey Kohlmeier, a 29-year-old police officer from Pontiac was killed in late October when his patrol car was hit by another car in a median turnaround on I-55, according to the Chicago Tribune. Kohlmeier was “in his patrol car when he was struck,” reports the Tribune, and although no initial arrests were made, a South Carolina man has since been charged with DUI in connection with the fatal crash. “Kohlmeier joined the Pontiac Police Department in January 2007… State Police Director Hiram Grau released a statement offering his condolences,” reports the Tribune. Kohlmeier was not alone in the car when the incident occurred—his K–9 partner, Draco, was also killed in the crash, according to the Tribune.

In early November, according to a different article from the Chicago Tribune, Jason C. Collins, 33, was officially charged with aggravated driving under the influence. Collins is from West Colombia, S.C. and “was driving a pickup north on Interstate 55 near the Route 23 exit when the pickup left the roadway and hit the patrol car,” police told the Tribune. Collins was arrested as soon as he was discharged from the hospital where he was being treated for minor injuries sustained in the crash. Police did not release what Collins’ blood alcohol level was at the time of incident, however.

Though the Tribune did not report Collins’ BAC at the time of the crash, Collins fits perfectly with the conception of the average DUI offender, at least according to the Illinois DUI Fact Book 2013. According to the Fact Book, the average DUI offender “is male (76 percent arrested are men); and age 34 (60 percent are under age 35).” According to, a full third of the 900,000 people arrested for DUI/DWI each year in the U.S. are repeat offenders—a staggering statistic that many states (including Illinois) are attempting to combat with periods of stricter enforcement and harsher penalties for those convicted of DUI.

Collins, of course, has since been charged with aggravated DUI, a felony in Illinois. According to the Fact Book, “any mandatory term of imprisonment or community service is not subject to suspension or reduction” regarding this type of charge.

If you or someone you know has been accused of an aggravated DUI, don’t go through it alone. Contact an experienced Illinois DUI attorney today.

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