Archive for the ‘Illinois DUI’ tag

Per Se Drugged Driving Law Result in Felony DUI Charges

November 29th, 2013 at 3:40 pm

Willie Craft Sr., 58, of Urbana, was charged in mid-November “with two felony counts of driving under the influence and one count of reckless homicide,” according to the Chicago Tribune. Craft was piloting a pick-up when he went over a curb and “struck two students from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, killing one of them.” It was later discovered that Craft had marijuana in his system at the time of the crash, according to Champaign County State’s Attorney Julia Rietz and as reported by the Tribune. Craft was initially “cited for driving without insurance and improper lane usage,” after the incident, but according to Rietz it was upon further investigation that officials stated that Craft was driving under the influence. He was also “not properly treating his diabetic condition,” according to the Tribune. Per Se Drugged Driving Law Result in Felony DUI Charges IMAGE

Mimi Liu, 20, of Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood was killed in the crash, and another student was injured. According to Rietz, Craft “told officials he was driving on the day of the crash for the first time in three years with the intent of getting insurance for his vehicle.” He had previously stayed away from getting behind the wheel because of his diabetic condition, according to the Tribune. That day, according to the Tribune, Craft said that, “he did not eat breakfast that morning even though he knew he needed it to keep his blood levels up.”

According to NORML, a non-profit that works to reform marijuana laws, Illinois is one of a handful of states that enforces per se drugged driving laws, in which a driver who tests positive for an inactive THC metabolite can be slapped with a DUI. This byproduct, however, “may be present in the urine of daily cannabis consumers for several weeks, or even months, after past use.”

A Court of Appeals in Arizona earlier this year deliberated a case involving the per se law in Arizona, and upheld the validity of the state’s per se law. As an attorney told the USA Today, “as things stand, a person from Arizona could go on a snowboarding trip to Colorado or Washington state, where marijuana is legal… and then a month later… get stopped and be convicted of DUI.”

If you or someone you know is facing DUI charges because of the per se drugged driving law in Illinois, don’t go through it alone. Contact an experienced Illinois DUI attorney today.

Case Highlights Lack of Clarity in Illinois DUI Law

October 28th, 2013 at 1:25 pm

 Last month, constitutional issues surrounding a case where a young woman ran over and killed a 5 year old child were raised because of a clarity issue in the Illinois DUI law. Rather than drinking and driving, the woman involved in the case was huffing difluorethane, which is generally used as an electronics dust remover. Under Illinois law, that substance is not specially named as an intoxicant. This situation demonstrates the complexity of state DUI rules, which is why it’s so important to hire an attorney.

The woman in the case and her attorney are arguing that the four counts of aggravated driving under the influence she was charged with is a violation of her constitutional rights because the law is too vague, and she was not under the influence of an intoxicant, according to the law. Illinois does not include a comprehensive list of prohibitive substances under the intoxication statutes. The exact law does state that a driver cannot be “under the influence of any intoxicating compound or combination of intoxicating compounds to a degree that renders the person incapable of driving safely”.

In Illinois, aggravated DUI is defined as a crash leading to great bodily harm or permanent disfigurement. The driver in the above case drove her car onto the sidewalk, killing a child. One count of this charge is a Class 4 felony with a minimum sentence of one-year loss of driving privileges, mandatory 10 days of imprisonment (which may be changed to 480 hours of community service), a fine of up to $25,000, and possible prison time of up to twelve years. Multiple counts increases the penalties for any driver convicted of driving under the influence.

If convicted, the woman faces serious consequences. However, her attorney may be able to minimize the consequences of her charges if she is convicted.

In serious DUI cases with multiple components, you need an attorney you can trust. Major consequences can result if you are not working with an experienced DUI attorney in Illinois. Contact our offices today for a full evaluation of your case.

The Federal Government Wants to Lower DUI Levels

May 29th, 2013 at 6:35 pm

empty wine glassThe government has made various attempts in trying to reduce the number of alcohol related deaths.  They have raised the minimum drinking age from 18 to 21.  They have also lowered the permissible blood alcohol level to .08.  Now there might be a more drastic effort to eliminate traffic deaths caused by alcohol.

In recent news, the National Transportation Safety Board has recommended a reduction in the blood alcohol level which can lead to DUI arrests and convictions.  Although states are responsible for managing their own DUI laws, the federal government can force the states to change their laws by withholding highway funding.

“Our goal is to get to zero deaths because each alcohol-impaired death is preventable,” NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman said. “Alcohol-impaired deaths are not accidents, they are crimes. They can and should be prevented. The tools exist. What is needed is the will.”  The lower threshold is only one recommendation presented by the NTSB to reduce fatalities involving alcohol.

Supporters of the change look at other evidence which corroborates the recommendation of the NTSB. For example, the reduction of alcohol related casualties in over 100 countries in Europe had in when they lowered their blood alcohol threshold to .05 percent.  After ten years of the lowered standard, deaths were reduced by more than half.

Detractors of the blood alcohol level modification point to other areas that should be targeted to reduce accidents.  Mothers Against Drunk Driving has three recommendations: ignition locks for all repeat offenders, better technology to stop drunk drivers from operating vehicles, and more law enforcement on the streets.

It may soon become a lot easier to be arrested for driving while intoxicated.  Some states have already amended their DUI laws.  If you have been pulled over due to suspicion of DUI, it is important to contact a skilled DUI defense attorney in DuPage County who has many years of experience.

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