Archive for the ‘Chicago DUI lawyer’ tag

Boating Season May be Slowing, but New DUI Law Takes Effect

September 24th, 2013 at 9:19 pm

Boating Season May Be Slowing, But New DUI Law Takes Effect IMAGEWith the advent of autumn and with summer slipping away, it seems that boating season is just about over. Yet after the water clears has proven an important moment in Illinois, where recreational boating is as common as deep-dish pizza, to discuss the law and culture surrounding the activity. According to a mid-September op-ed in the Chicago Tribune, “most people wouldn’t dare brandish an open container while behind the wheel of a car. But beer and boating go together.” In the past few years DUI boating accidents have become an all-too-common tale. According to Northern Public Radio, “there were 101 boating-related accidents on Illinois waters” in 2012, “resulting in 17 deaths and 77 injuries.” In 13 of the accidents and five of the fatalities alcohol was a contributing factor.

As a result, earlier this summer Governor Pat Quinn signed into law new legislation meant to curb such DUI boating accidents. The new legislation was announced after ten-year-old Tony Borcia, “boating with his dad and siblings on a string of lakes connected by the Fox River,” fell off his tube and was struck by a speedboat driver who was drunk and high on cocaine. The new law, according to Northern Public Radio, “says a boat operator who’s intoxicated or refuses to submit to blood alcohol testing could lose his license to drive a car.” Yet it only applies “if there’s a serious accident or death,” Northern Public Radio Reports.

The new law goes into effect on January 1 of next year, according to Fox News. This means that the boating season will be significantly impacted next year, and that all boat owners and lake revelers in the Chicago-area should be prepared for a different type of boating season. Not only could the new legislation affect a person’s eligibility to drive on land, according to the Tribune op-ed it’d also “require boat operators born after Jan. 1, 1990 to have a safety certificate from the Department of Natural Resources. Another would require boats towing a person on a tube or skis to display an orange safety flag.”

If you or someone you know has been charged with DUI, either on land or on water don’t go through it alone. Contact a dedicated Illinois DUI attorney today.


Mother Charged in DUI That Injured Nine Children

August 14th, 2013 at 2:31 pm

Tonica Cornwell, 30, was driving south on I-57 when she lost control of her vehicle, veered off the road, and rolled up on a grassy embankment near 99th Street. The accident resulted in the injuring of nine children, and Cornwell, who was driving a Chevy Suburban at the time of the incident, was charged with DUI immediately. The Suburban was carrying 11 people at the time of the crash, according to NBC Chicago Local News, and Cornwell is the mother of several of the children who were injured. When the Suburban rolled up on the embankment, it came to rest on the roof. “Witnesses told police the vehicle was ‘traveling at a high rate of speed’ when it rolled into the embankment,” according to NBC Chicago. NBC reports that, “in total two adults and nine children, ages 3 to 14, were transported to area hospitals with non life-threatening injuries.”  Mother Charged in DUI That Injured Nine Children IMAGE

The children involved in this accident are lucky, as is Cornwell, that the injuries sustained weren’t worse. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “of the 1,210 traffic deaths among children ages 0 to 14 years in 2010, 211 (17 percent) involved an alcohol-impaired driver.” More than half of all child fatalities due to DUI occurred when the child was in the car with the drunk driver, not in a car that was piloted by a different driver. In Illinois, according to the Illinois State Police Department, any DUI crash which results in “great bodily harm or permanent disfigurement” carries the weight of a Class 4 felony, and an Aggravated DUI charge. Punishment for this type of charge includes a “minimum of one-year loss of full driving privileges; mandatory ten days imprisonment or 480 hours community service; possible imprisonment for up to 12 years; a maximum fine of $25,000.”

Cornwell is facing other charges as well, considering that seven of the passengers in the Suburban were not wearing seatbelts, according to Chicago CBS Local. In addition to DUI, Cornwell has been charged with “nine counts of child endangerment… [and] also issued traffic ticket for child restraint violations.”

If you or someone you know has been charged in an accident such as this, don’t go through it alone. Contact an experienced Chicago DUI attorney today.

Man Charged in Fatal Crash

June 14th, 2013 at 11:27 am

Man Charged in Fatal Crash IMAGEBenjamin J. Black, 28, of Sycamore, was arrested in May in connection with the February crash that killed 11-year-old Matthew Ranken, according to the Chicago Tribune. Black “had heroin in his system when he caused a chain-reaction” incident, in which he “failed to stop for a line of cars that were halted because of another crash.” Several other motorists were also taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Black’s arrest is just one of many in the Chicago area involving heroin use. According to ABC Local Chicago, “heroin addiction is a growing problem across Illinois” and law enforcement, doctors, family members of community leaders are “trying to confront the problem.”

And it’s not just in the inner city that heroin use is a growing problem, according to ABC Local. One retired Chicago police officer, John Roberts, had moved his family from the city to the suburbs upon retirement, and it was there that his “son started using heroin and eventually died from an overdose,” reports ABC Local. Roberts told ABC that he “was shocked that he did not know how dangerous it was. And I was shocked that many other kids his age were involved with drugs and heroin.”

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics and reported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), “more than 16 percent of weekend, nighttime drivers tested positive for illegal, prescription, or over-the-counter medications. More than 11 percent tested positive for illicit drugs.” A different study, according to the NIDA, found that in Maryland, 34 percent of car accident victims tested positive for drugs only, while only 16 percent tested positive for alcohol only. The institute notes that because this represents only one geographic location, findings cannot be generalized, but the numbers are concurrent with a spike in illicit drug use in the Chicago area.

Black has been charged with aggravated DUI and faces incarceration if convicted. If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime such as this, don’t go through it alone. Contact a dedicated Chicago-area DUI attorney today.

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