Archive for the ‘Drugged Driving’ tag

Man Sentenced to 15 Years for 2011 DUI

August 3rd, 2013 at 12:16 pm

A mother and her son were killed in 2011 in a grisly driving while intoxicated accident on the Northwest side of Chicago. The responsible driver, Richard Strum, 37, was this month sentenced to 15 years in prison in connection with the deaths. Also involved in the crash were the woman, Claudia Delia’s, stepson, Zack Marvin, “a high school sophomore whose vision and hearing were permanently damaged on the left side of his head, forcing him to give up his dream of becoming a Marine,” according to the Chicago Tribune. Also in the car were Delia’s son Hauk Marvin, 3, whose leg was broken, and 16-year-old family friend Chris Dias, who suffered a broken pelvis. According to the Tribune, “the group had been headed for an end-of-summer camping trip in Wisconsin.”  Man Sentenced to 15 Years for 2011 DUI IMAGE

Strum, according to the Tribune, was a Chicago resident but had not had a valid license since 2003. Despite this, he continued to “drive and rack up tickets.” It wasn’t booze that was found in his system, however—Strum received the heavy-handed sentence after “a urine test found cannabis in Strum’s system,” despite the fact that “his attorney argued that the amount of cannabis detected was minuscule and could have come from secondhand smoke,” according to the Tribune. Jurors apparently didn’t see this as reasonable cause that he wasn’t totally at fault, and “convicted him on multiple counts of aggravated DUI and reckless homicide.” In an apology that Strum read in court this month from the defense table, he stuck to his story that he wasn’t actually under the influence of anything at the time of the accident. The Tribune reports that Strum told the jury that “I was driving too fast that day. It was my stupidity that caused the accident, not the use of booze or drugs.”

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “drugged driving always have lagged behind alcohol-related driving legislation, in part because of limitation in the current technology for determining drug levels and resulting impairment.” It’s likely that stricter drugged driving laws will continue to be passed as technology makes testing for drugged driving on site easier.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a DUI, don’t go through it alone. Contact a dedicated Chicago-area DUI attorney today.

Man Charged in Fatal 2012 Crash

June 26th, 2013 at 8:50 am

Man Charged in Fatal 2012 Crash IMAGEA 25-year-old man was charged in mid-June in connection to a May 2012 crash that killed a 13-year-old girl, and bail was set at $700,000, according to the Chicago Tribune. The man, Ronald J. Tenard, “has been charged with two felony counts of aggravated DUI in the death of Sade McGee,” who he hit while high on PCP before driving away. The crash occurred when Tenard’s 1998 Mercury Sable rear-ended a 1993 Buick LeSabre at high speed, “sending it into a fence, police and prosecutors said.” Tenard then managed to hit a parked car before he and a passenger both jumped out through the driver’s side window and ran away. They were “taken into custody nearby,” according to prosecutors and reported by the Tribune. Sade was declared dead at John H. Stroger Hospital, and a 2012 autopsy determined that the girl had died from multiple injuries resultant from the crash. While her death was originally ruled an accident, “investigators tested Tenard with a DUI kit, which later indicated he had both PCP and cannabinoids—substances indicating the use of marijuana—in his system,” according to the Tribune.

Drunk driving has long been a prevalent problem, the terrible consequences of which, according to the White House, Americans are all-too familiar. But the issue of drugged driving is more recent, and, according to the White House, the Department of Transportation and other Federal agencies alongside the Office of National Drug Control Policy are taking steps “to highlight the growing problem of drugged driving.” According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study and reported by the White House, in 2007, “approximately one in eight weekend, nighttime drivers tested positive for illicit drugs.” In 2010, one in eight high school seniors “reported driving after smoking marijuana within two weeks prior to the survey interview.” In 2009, just less than 4,000 fatally injured drivers tested positive for drug use after a crash in which there was suspected use of illicit substances.

If you or someone you know has been charged with drugged driving, don’t go through it alone. The most important first step is to seek the counsel of an experienced DUI attorney. Contact our offices today.

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Man Charged in Fatal DUI Crash

May 13th, 2013 at 11:36 am

Man Charged in Fatal DUI Crash IMAGEBenjamin J. Black, 28, was charged with a February chain-reaction car crash in mid-May, in which an 11-year-old boy died, according to the Chicago Tribune. Black had heroin in his system when he caused the crash on Highway 64 at about 7:30pm. He “failed to stop for a line of cars that were halted because of another crash,” and drove into a Chevrolet Cavalier in which Matthew Ranken was a backseat passenger. The front-seat passenger in the Cavalier was also severely injured, and several other motorists who were stopped in the line of cars were also injured. “Authorities said a urine sample taken from Black after the incident showed the presence of heroin metabolites,” according to the Tribune. He was immediately taken into custody, and just recently a warrant was issued for his arrest. The Tribune reported that a judge set Black’s bail at $250,000.

According to a report issued by the Illinois Consortium on Drug Policy and reported by the Huffington Post, heroin use in Chicago is on the rise. Chicago has the worst heroin problem in the country, evidenced by heroin-related ER admissions. “In 2010,” according to the Huffington Post, “Chicago metropolitan hospitals recorded 24,360 admissions where heroin use was mentioned as a contributing factor.” New York, the second-place city, recorded 12,226 heroin mentions in the same period. Heroin addiction, according to the Huffington Post, “follows alcoholism as the second-most common reason Illinois residents are being admitted to substance abuse treatment programs.”

According to, “in a national survey, drugs were present more than 7 times as frequently as alcohol among weekend nighttime drivers in the U.S., with 16 percent testing positive for drugs, compared to 2 percent testing at or above the legal limit for alcohol.”

If you or someone you know has been charged with drugged driving or charged in a drugged driving crash, don’t go through it alone. Contact a dedicated Chicago-area DUI attorney today.


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