Archive for the ‘Felony’ tag
November 21st, 2013 at 5:00 pm
Casey 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 DrinkingandDriving.org, 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.
October 8th, 2013 at 12:43 pm
Georgi Grigorov, 34, of Arlington Heights, was “arrested for drunk driving after having six prior DUI convictions under five different aliases” and bond was set at $500,000 in late September, according to the Chicago Tribune. Grigorov was charged with “aggravated driving under the influence, aggravated driving with a suspended license, and unlawful possession of fictitious identification.” Assistant State’s Attorney Moe Ahmad made note at the hearing that Grigorov had been convicted of several previous DUIs, four of which were on “bond forfeiture warrants using different names,” according to the Tribune. Though he did indeed give a false identification card when pulled over for the most recent DUI, police “learned his real identity when they ran his fingerprints through a criminal database,” Ahmad told the Tribune.
Grigorov was driving a BMW when he was arrested, and was initially pulled over for traffic violations. He failed filed sobriety tests administered by first responders to the scene, and refused to take a breath test. Refusal to submit to chemical testing in Illinois results in automatic suspension of driving privileges for 12 months, according to the Illinois DUI Factbook 2013. The Factbook states that, “in 2011, 92 percent of drivers arrested for DUI who refused to submit to or failed chemical testing lost their driving privileges.” Unlike Grigorov’s case, the vast majority of people who refused to submit to chemical testing (85 percent) were first-time DUI offenders.
The lion’s share of people using fake identification cards (such as the one Grigorov used) are teenagers seeking to buy booze illegally, but the punishment is the same across the board. According to NBC Local Chicago, using a fake ID is a class 4 felony in Illinois, punishable by serious jail time. For Grigorov, of course, the fake ID is the least of his worries when compared to the myriad of other very serious charges he’s facing.
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.