Thursday, April 30, 2009

Chicago DUI Lawyer's guest post by Michael Goldberg on the liability of a Gentleman's Club for a DUI

A few months ago I posted on Diamonds Gentlemens Club. You may recall that Diamonds Gentlemens Club features terpsichorean ecdysiasts.  Today, I am fortunate to have Attorney Michael Goldberg, of the Whiting Law Group, LTD guest post on the issue of the liability of Diamonds Gentlemens Club even though the club was not criminally charged with DUI.  

It’s undeniably clear that Diamonds Gentlemens Club is acquiescing to the consumption of alcohol in its establishment by what it serves, i.e. mixers, tonic, etc.  Since Diamonds is indirectly serving alcohol to its patrons, it should be held responsible for the injuries caused under the Dram Shop Act.  Dram Shop laws place liability on establishments who serve alcohol to visibly intoxicated persons who subsequently cause injury to innocent victims, usually as a result of alcohol-related car crashes.  The laws are intended to protect the general public from the hazards of irresponsibly serving alcohol to intoxicated patrons.  Diamonds argument that Dram Shop laws do not apply to them because they don’t “serve” alcohol is misplaced and completely hypocritical.  Diamonds wants to reap the benefits of its patrons getting intoxicated to the point where they lose judgment and spend obscene amounts of money on “entertainment,” but at the same time, they want to avoid the responsibility of injuries caused from the intoxication that Diamonds promotes.  If an establishment like Diamonds Gentlemens Club knows that alcohol will be consumed in its establishment and further promotes the consumption by serving alcoholic mixers, it cannot use the fact that it did not technically serve alcohol as a shield from the Dram Shop Act.

 For those of you who would like to discuss this further feel free to comment on my blog or you can contact Michael directly at



Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Chicago DUI lawyer comments on rally against Chicago Cops charged with DUI

The other day I was leaving the courthouse in downtown Chicago.  I walked right into a bevy of homemade posters and signs. "Honk for Justice" and  DUI-"Detective Under Investigation".

They were supporters of the two young men who died in the tragic accident involving a Chicago Police Officer accused of a DUI.  Unfortunately, there have been two such incidents in as many years here in Chicago. I have blogged about each account here and here.

A DUI is sometimes a sign of a drinking problem for the driver.  We need to do everything we can to prevent the DUI in the first place.  At the risk of stating the obvious, the punishment after such tragic circumstances can never undo the wrong, nor bring back the four lives that were lost.

A few professions, Police Officer included, carry a higher risk for alcohol-related problems. You may know an Officer who you believe has a drinking problem. It is easy to vilify those who we believe are, or should be, held to a higher standard, especially when we learn that they may have been 'enabled' in their drinking by fellow Officers. In the belief that impaired Officers suspected of DUI were provided get-out-of-jail-free cards by their fellow Officers, it is easy to turn against the suspected drunk drivers.  A moment's further thought tells us that the police culture is a bigger culprit; the culture that allows one Officer to turn a blind eye to another's drunk driving is the problem. As they say in soccer, go for the ball, not the man. Let's hope Mr. Weis has that aspect of Chicago's Police culture on his radar screen.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Chicago DUI lawyer on DUI Prosecutors looking for Mulligans on old DUI arrests

Recently, I provided analysis on ex.rel Madigan v. Kinzer for the Illinois State Bar Association.

After reading the following, I wonder if the prosecutor down in Madison County is familiar with the case that strips a judge of sentencing powers based on an individual having received court supervision on a prior DUI:

A judge has dismissed the state's attempt to reinstate a driving under the influence charge against Franklin "Mitch" Durr of Alton on the basis that a previous mistaken plea agreement remains enforceable. Associate Judge James Hackett of Madison County has ruled that prosecutors' motion to vacate the plea deal would amount to double jeopardy, which is precluded under the U.S. Constitution. Durr was charged with driving under the influence as a result of an April 22, 2008, incident in Alton. He pleaded guilty in Madison County Circuit Court to a charge of improper registration and paid a $1,000 fine in exchange for a prosecution agreement to drop the DUI charge.
Of course I think the Judge down in Madison County was right. How far back are we going to go because the government, with all of its resources, wants a Mulligan on these cases?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Chicago DUI lawyer on the problem with Illinois' forensic backlog

Millions of government dollars were allocated with the intention of  reducing and eliminating the forensic backlog related to criminal charges.

The problem: the Auditor General, William Holland, has conculded that the Illinois State Police provided "misleading or incorrect numbers to the governor and legislature, misstating the size of the backlog."  You and I both know a little word, think 3 letters, that is far simpler to describe the actions of the Illinois State Police in this reporting.

The backlog of tests on evidence at Illinois State Police labs climbed into the thousands and interfered with criminal cases while the agency sat on money that could have accelerated results, a report released Thursday found.
Auditor General William Holland also concluded that state police provided misleading or incorrect numbers to the governor and legislature, misstating the size of the backlog.

Of $387 million provided the department for forensic services during those six years, $19.3 million went unspent, according to Holland’s audit, including $7.7 million for potential employees’ salaries and benefits.
Law enforcement agencies statewide may submit evidence to nine state police labs that conduct 41 types of analyses, such as DNA identification, firearms and fingerprint analysis, DUI testing, and tire-track comparisons.

In addition to not spending budgeted money, the agency transferred $6 million to other funds, including $4.3 million for police vehicle maintenance and $1.2 million for the CeaseFire Illinois anti-violence program.
The agency lapsed $1.3 million in federal grants, according to Holland, including $568,000 of a national grant for “DNA backlog reduction.” The state police responded that the unspent grant funds totaled $214,000 and it still had authority to spend the $568,000 from the 2004 grant

What does this mean for a person charged with a crime?  In some instances, if bail can not be met, or has not been set, the person must sit in jail while the defense attorney tries to get crucial information that could prove the individual not guilty.  The worse case scenario, the individual is found guilty and cannot be exonerated for the crime without this crucial evidence. Even in "less serious" crimes, like a simple drug possession or a no-accident DUI, this information is crucial to deciding whether the person can even be prosecuted.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Chicago DUI lawyer warned about problems with Chicago ticketing via camera, now the Illinois tollway's problems surface

Now that the City of Chicago thinks it is a great idea to ticket with cameras for offenses, they had better talk to the Illinois tollway to make sure they are ticketing the right vehicle owner for the offense.  The problem with these tickets is in Illinois, they can cause your license to be suspended.

 Minnesota's Attorney General on Thursday called on Illinois officials to stop sending tickets to Minnesota drivers until they get their tollway violation system in order. 
Attorney General Lori Swanson said her office has received complaints from many motorists who received tickets, even though they weren't driving in Illinois at the time of the tollway violation. 

In some cases, the tollway system photographed license plates but then used outdated license information, ticketing the wrong people, Swanson said. 

Illinois Tollway spokeswoman Joelle McGinnis said officials were made aware of the problems in March and adjusted their policies. She said officials haven't heard about any additional complaints since then but will review the letter Swanson sent to Illinois officials.

Swanson said Illinois officials have offered a forum where citizens can file complaints, but she told them in the letter that that isn't good enough. 

"It is unfair for the tollway to place the burden on Minnesota citizens to correct the errors of a faulty system," she wrote. "Allowing a citizen to object to an improperly-issued ticket should not be a substitute for ensuring that tickets are properly issued to the correct owner in the first place." 

That's right the great state of Minnesota maybe underrepresented in the Senate but that does not mean they will let Illinois hang their citizens out to dry with unwarranted tickets.  Who do you think is going to go to bat for Chicago citizens who receive erroneous tickets once the cameras are in place? 

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Chicago DUI lawyer is not surprised that traffic deaths are down to historic lows in Illinois

Earlier I posted on how to decrease Chicago DUI's by increasing the price of alcohol.  The news is in and it looks like raising the price of gasoline significantly decreased the number of Illinois traffic deaths.

Teens waiting longer to get their licenses and increased seat-belt use contributed to a 16 percent decrease in traffic deaths on Illinois roads last year, according to the state.

The Governors Highway Safety Association found that traffic deaths nationwide were down 10.6 percent last year compared to 2007. Some of the drop can be attributed to high gas prices and the bad economy, which spurred people to cut back on driving.

The number of vehicles on the road dropped 2.4 percent nationally and 2 percent in Illinois.

Over the last three years, the state has expanded use of safety checkpoints, Stout said.

Now can we all just agree that rasing the price of alcohol and/or gasoline will probably save more lives on the road than "safety checkpoints"?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Chicago DUI lawyer cheering over a CLEAR Illinois Code of Corrections

Sometimes the hardest part of my work is getting agreement on what the minimum and maximum penalties are for a Chicago DUI.  Thankfully, Governor Quinn has made clarifying the Illinois Code of Corrections easier by signing into law Senate Bill 100.

The Illinois Code of Corrrections has not been for the faint of heart.  The correct answer to the question "what is the minimm sentence for this offense?" often requires going back and forth through an array of Illinois statute books to get the right answer.  The Criminal Law Edit, Alignment, and Reform (CLEAR) Commission worked hard to get a code that would be easier.  The benefits of CLEAR should be readily apparent:


  • The Code will be more accessible to laypeople trying to obey the law. 
  • Judges and lawyers will find the Code easier to understand and apply. 
  • The reform will eliminate disputes over interpretation of the Code that can reduce costly retrials, court delays and mistakes. 
  • The size of the Code will be reduced significantly, and indexing will be improved. 
  • Policy makers will more easily understand the implications of amendments proposed in the future. 
  • The new Code will limit the opportunity for lengthy and expensive appeals due to confusion with the existing Code.

This Chicago DUI lawyer certainly has high hopes that once the new Code is available all parties will be able to agree on many things, not least the minimum and maximum sentence for an offense.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Good news for a Chicago DUI client from the front

Today, I was in court with a client who had his driving privileges madatorily revoked in error.  An old case had actually been dismissed against my client, but it appeared on his official driving record as a conviction.  I was able to get the corrections made and my client should be able to get a driver's license very, very soon.

Sometimes, the work is very good and very fulfilling.  It just goes to show that mistakes can be made and it takes effort to challenge any official record as wrong.

Teen queen dethroned by MADD

I have no doubt that MADD's agenda goes much, much further than drunk driving.  I actually believe it is a 20th Century temperance movement.  The following solidifies my belief:

Connecticut’s teen pageant queen still has her crown but no where to wear it after police busted an underage drinking party at her parents’ Wolcott house last month.

The Miss Connecticut Scholarship Corp. pulled the reins on the reign of Rachael Ramonas, 17, after the Feb. 21 party, where 24 teens were cited.

The names of the teens busted have not been because they are juveniles. It's unclear if Ramonas was among those issued a ticket.

Ramonas had planned to act as spokesperson for Mothers Against Drunk Driving as part of her yearlong reign but the state chapter no longer is working with the teen, who once organized a benefit for the families of friends killed in a car crash in which the teen behind the wheel had a history of drunken driving.

MADD officials have not heard from Ramonas since before the party, said Janice Heggie Margolis, executive director of MADD's Connecticut chapter.

"An apology was not made, and her behavior was not befitting what we would consider a role model," Heggie Margolis said.

On May 2, Ramonas will not march alongside her pageant peers during a MADD walk-a-thon in West Hartford, nor will she be allowed to perform in a May 8 MADD-sponsored high school talent show in North Haven.

While I do not condone, underaged drinking, is anyone else as puzzled as I am why MADD is so mad with Ms. Ramonas, since there was no driving involved?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Chicago now impounding cars even if you have a pending Chicago DUI

Yesterday my office received a call from a client.  His Chicago DUI charge is still pending, but I anticipate, and I have informed him, that the charges against him will be dismissed.  He was ticketed and this time his car was impounded.  Interestingly, when he called, he was far more concerned about the vehicle being impounded than the citations issued against him.  

Folks, as I posted earlier the city is moving to impound more and more vehicles as a way to increase revenue.  

It is important, to make sure your license is valid before you get back behind the wheel.  Although I told my client this before these events happened, I guess he should start reading my blog as well, just as a reminder.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The "420 Highliday"; beware the unanticipated DUI

 Yesterday I was reminded that many people were celebrating the 420 holiday. There were unofficial parties all over the country to celebrate.  I just hope they know that they can be charged with a Chicago DUI for driving after consuming weed.

That's right; 420 is an unoffical holiday marked by many people who smoke marijuana.   Yes, yesterday was Hitler's Birthday.  It was also the 10th Anniversary of the Columbine School tragedy. Many recognize April 20th first and foremost, however, as a day to indulge in cannabis consumption.

They will not be the only ones partaking: April 20 has long been an unofficial day of celebration for marijuana fans, an occasion for campus smoke-outs, concerts and cannabis festivals. But some advocates of legal marijuana say this year’s “high holiday” carries extra significance as they sense increasing momentum toward acceptance of the drug, either as medicine or entertainment.

Long stigmatized as political poison, the marijuana movement has found new allies in prominent politicians, including Representatives Barney Frank, Democrat of Massachusetts, and Ron Paul, Republican of Texas, who co-wrote a bill last year to decrease federal penalties for possession and to give medical users new protections.

The bill failed, but with the recession prompting bulging budget deficits, some legislators in California and Massachusetts have gone further, suggesting that the drug could be legalized and taxed, a concept that has intrigued even such ideologically opposed pundits as Glenn Beck of Fox News and Jack Cafferty of CNN.

Even if weed is decriminalized, I don't think that will substantially change the ability to be charged with a Chicago DUI if one is celebrating on 420 or any other day. 

Monday, April 20, 2009

So we live in a police state, really

Last night my husband and I shared our practically daily ritual, wherein I read the newspaper and pass over to him my cherry-picked version of the news.  We were in complete and utter agreement after reading the DNA collection piece in the Sunday New York TImes.

Law enforcement officials are vastly expanding their collection of DNA to include millions more people who have been arrested or detained but not yet convicted. The move, intended to help solve more crimes, is raising concerns about the privacy of petty offenders and people who are presumed innocent.

Until now, the federal government genetically tracked only convicts. But starting this month, the Federal Bureau of Investigation will join 15 states that collect DNA samples from those awaiting trial and will collect DNA from detained immigrants — the vanguard of a growing class of genetic registrants.

Law enforcement officials say that expanding the DNA databanks to include legally innocent people will help solve more violent crimes. They point out that DNA has helped convict thousands of criminals and has exonerated more than 200 wrongfully convicted people.

But criminal justice experts cite Fourth Amendment privacy concerns and worry that the nation is becoming a genetic surveillance society.

Let's deal with the notion "why worry if you don't have anything to hide?" Folks, this country has a Constitution, and associated legislation that reinforces the rights spelled out in the Constitution, forged to protect our rights to privacy.  It is privacy that gives us the right to practice the religion of our choice, or no religion, to gather with folks of like-minds, or not, even to make the very private decision of how many children to have.  It also means the police do not have the right to come into your home, or your car, without good reason, whether you have something to hide or not.

In the war against the erosion of your Constitutionally protected freedoms and rights, crimes like DUI often present victories to the forces of oppression that ordinary citizens may unwittingly accommodate. 


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Charles Barkley's thoughts on avoiding a DUI

I will admit it.  I am not a big fan of former NBA star Charles Barkley, but after viewing his appearance on The Tonight Show I thought he had some insight, as it relates to DUI's, worth sharing.

He said that you never think about drinking and driving until there is an accident or you get charged with a DUI.  You go out with friends and you drink and then you drive yourself home.  You go out to dinner and you have a drink with your meal and then you drive yourself home.  

Folks, we are not at zero tolerance for alcohol consumption while driving yet, but I do believe that will come in the future.  Just remember, not that long ago the legal limit was .10 BAC, today it is .08.  Believe me there is already a push from MADD to lower the legal BAC limit from .08. 

Do you think there should be a strict prohibition against any amount of alcohol consumption while driving?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Role of a Chicago DUI Prosecutor, like all American prosecutors is easy

Many think the job of the Chicago DUI prosecutor is hard.  They mistakenly believe the job is to get Chicago DUI defendants to plea guilty or be found guilty.  After that happens it is time to "nail it" to the defendant in terms of the punishment for the crime. 18 random urine drops for a card-carrying member of AARP with no past drug use, what on earth is the purpose of that?

As John Farmer recently wrote:

The powers to accuse, to arrest, and to prosecute are the most fearsome conferred by our society.  The abuse of those powers, historically, has been the very definition of tyranny.
No, the one role the prosecutor has is to "seek justice".  What does that mean? It means, when the charges are weak, the evidence is bad, or worse looks like a cover-up, the charges should be dismissed.  Luckily, in Chicago there are many brave prosecutors.  I have watched them advocate that justice be done.  Yes, that is their job but sometimes, as a defense attorney, I just don't see it happen that frequently. When it does happen, it has made me proud to be a defense attorney.  It makes me confident in telling my clients that our justice system works, even if it is not flawless.  It allows me to tell them that just because mistakes were made in the past, with disgraced Chicago Top DUI cops, it does not mean that they cannot get a fair shake in our justice system.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Must I cooperate with the Chicago Police Officer in my Chicago DUI arrest?

Earlier this week I was on a panel for a local tv show on Chicago DUI and changes to the law.  The interviewer was a Cook County Judge.  She asked me a question about taking the Field Sobriety Tests when stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.  She said she always told people to cooperate with the Chicago police.  My short answer to her question was no.  This particular situation puts almost everyone in a bind.  Aren't I supposed to listen to the police? Won't I be in trouble if I don't do what the police tell me to do?

Folks this falls back to knowing your rights.  We have all watched enough police shows, both reality based like Cops, and long running favorites like Law & Order, to know our Miranda Warnings.  Everyone's favorite goes like this: "You have the right to remain silent". So what does remaining silent mean for someone charged with a Chicago DUI ?

It means that once a Chicago Police Officer stops your vehicle and asks you "Where have you been tonight? Were you drinking? How much did you have to drink tonight?", you should expect that you are going to be arrested and charged with a Chicago DUI.  So what do you do when asked these questions? Well, you have to decide if you want to help the police officer strengthen his belief that you were driving under the influence of alcohol.  Once the officer asks you to step out of the car, and take some tests, you should know that you are very likely to be arrested.  At that point you need to decide whether you want to (i) help the officer make his case against you, or (ii) ask for a lawyer.

It has been my experience that even if you pass the Field Sobriety Tests,  and/or blow under the legal limit of .08 BAC, you will still be arrested, given a court date, and need to hire a Chicago DUI lawyer who knows what they are doing.

Do you think you will get the same pass, as has been suggested in the media, that Chicago Police officers have given each other passes on being charged with Chicago DUI's?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Another Chicago Police Officer's DUI case back before Judge Donald Panarese

The news of a Chicago Police Officer charged with DUI in a fatal crash that left two young men dead last week is eerily familiar to a separate case involving a different Chicago Police Officer, also in a fatal crash that left two young men dead back in 2007.

The Judge in this most recent case, Donald Panarese, is the very same Judge who dismissed DUI charges against the off duty Chicago Police Officer accused of a DUI back in 2007.

Judge Panarese set the bond for Chicago Police Officer Frugoli, charged with DUI in a deadly crash last Friday, at $500,000 - allowing the alleged drunk-driving killer cop to get-out-of-jail after posting only $50,000.

Is it merely a coincidence that Judge Panarese set a very affordable get-out-of-jail bond for the most recent Chicago Cop charged with causing deaths resulting from a DUI accident? Tell me what you think the bond would have been for an unemployed citizen from the south or west side, charged with same offenses.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

What will happen if I drive with a suspended or revoked driver's licence?

The  Chicago Sun Times has done a good job over the years highlighting the consequences of driving to traffic court for a suspended or revoked driver's license case. The paper has repeatedly covered the arrests, made by sheriffs in the parking lots of traffic courts, of defendants who blatantly flouted the law by driving to traffic court for their suspended/revoked licence case. 

It looks like some hard-hitting changes may be coming to encourage citizens to more seriously consider obeying the law after their licenses are suspended or revoked. It appears likely that in the near future you will have your vehicle impounded if you get caught breaking the law by driving on a suspended or revoked license.

Some may say that it is just a way for the City to raise revenues; others may say that criminals who repeatedly commit the same crime need to be punished with appropriate consequences. Unlicensed and uninsured drivers are very costly to the rest of us, and are expensively subsidized by all law-abiding citizens. 

During these tough economic times doesn't it seem more reasonable to provide a time-constrained amnesty period for suspended/revoked license holders to regain their driving privileges and thus increase their chances of getting to and from their jobs which create tax revenue for the city?  

An accommodation like this would enable many people to each pay a relatively modest fee to quickly get their driving privileges restored and so have a much better chance of maintaining employment and tax paying status. This  small amount of financial pain spread across the significant number of unlicensed drivers would solve the three problems of punishment, restoration of privileges, and swelling City coffers.  

Is it appropriate to take away the vehicles of people who repeatedly refuse to stop driving while they have no privileges to do so? Tell me if you think an amnesty seems like a more comprehensive and reasonable solution.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Chicago DUI lawyer comments on Chicago Police Superintendent's remarks on Chicago Police Officer and Chicago DUI tragedy

"We also had an officer who's life is technically over"- Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis discussing the 2 deaths involving a Chicago Police Officer Accussed of DUI

Well there you have it, words from the Chicago Police Superintendent that shows compassion for one of his Officers.  

April 13, Chicago, Il
WEIS: Since I got here in 2008, we've had more officers arrested for DUI. However, if you look back at the holiday period from last year, we had no arrests. So I think officers are starting to understand that this is a very serious issue. We have two people who have been killed. People recognize that, and unfortunately, people have frailties, and they have weaknesses and sometimes they get lost.
There is a an adamant denial on the part of the superintendent that the officer charged was shown any professional courtesies. 
Weis said the department recognizes alcohol abuse among officers is a problem and he has pushed for more training and developed more education programs to address it.Under the department's general orders, no officer can be intoxicated on or off duty.

"They're authorized to use deadly force. And when you have that authority and that responsibility, it does hold you to a higher standard than John Q. Citizen who you might live beside," Weis said. "So is it fair? Perhaps not. But that's part of the oath when you become police officer. You are not the same as everybody else."

In 2008, 15 officers were arrested for DUI, nearly double the arrests in 2007, he said.

 Can one be tough on crime, and still show compassion to the individual charged?

Chicago DUI lawyer predicts the future

I want to share a few of my predictions about what the future may hold for Chicago DUI's.  

1. I believe the time will come when there will be zero tolerance for all drivers regardless of age. That means whether you are over the age of 21 or not no amount of alcohol will be legal when driving a vehicle.  There are states already working on passing bills for zero tolerance for repeat offenders. I have also mentioned states looking to ban the purchase of consumption of any alcohol for repeat offenders.

2.  Interlock devices may become standard on automobiles.  There are many of us who have no idea that there is any gasoline available aside from unleaded.  There will come a time in the future, I suspect less than twenty years, when having an Interlock device will be standard on all autos, just like airbags, and ABS brakes are now.

Ten years from now (maybe sooner) , if you are going to consume alcoholic beverages, I strongly suggest no driving.  If you get stopped for something minor, like a busted tail-light, you could end up arrested for a DUI.  I know, you may prevail ultimately, but why put yourself in that position in the first place?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Suspected DUI driver slams vehicle into courthouse

The alleged DUI driver's car landed practically on its nose with the rear resting against the courthouse.

Franklin County Circuit Clerk Donna Sevenski continues to thank God — and her son, Scott, who made a phone call that probably saved her life.

“I was the only one in the courthouse,” Sevenski said. “It was about 4:26 p.m. I was getting ready to step into my office with a stack of papers in my hand when my cell phone rang. I was standing outside my office door, stopped at the desk outside the door and sat the paperwork down on the desk to answer the phone.”

“When the SUV struck the courthouse after striking the tree, the plate-glass window and frame flew into the office, striking the door and shattering,” she said. “Part of the glass, mud and debris flew into the office that is shared by the personnel.”

There is mention that this young man may have a broken neck.  Let's hope he get's the assistance he needs and thank goodness no one else was harmed.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Alleged Chicago DUI for Chicago Police Officer: Bond is $500,000 for the fatal crash

Bond was set this afternoon at 26th and California for the Chicago Police Officer accused of a Chicago DUI that left two young men dead.

Bond was set at $500,000 Sunday for an off-duty Chicago Police detective accused of killing two men when he allegedly plowed into a disabled car in a drunken-driving crash early Friday on the Dan Ryan Expressway.

The Chicago Police Department released a statement saying he has been relieved of his police powers. In addition to the traffic investigation being conducted by the State Police, the Chicago Police Department launched a probe by its Internal Affairs Division.

He has been involved in other serious wrecks, including one not far from the scene of Friday’s fatal collision and another that injured two police officers.

Just last week, he was ordered to pay $7,100 to Joseph Cairo after a jury trial involving a 2005 accident.

I certainly hope the prior accidents were not cover ups for other Chicago DUI's. I don't think the Chicago Police would try to cover that up, do you?

Chicago DUI, Chicago Police Officer and a Fatal Accident

On Friday,  I posted  about a tragic fatal accident involving an allegation of DUI out in L.A., now the tragedy strikes right here and involves a Chicago Police Officer.

An off-duty Chicago Police detective charged with killing two men in a drunken-driving crash has been involved in other serious wrecks, including one not far from the scene of Friday’s fatal collision on the Dan Ryan Expy. and another that injured two police officers.

At 5 a.m. on Jan. 27 of last year, Frugoli was driving a BMW sedan near the intersection of 37th and Wallace in Bridgeport when he allegedly ran a stop sign and struck the police car, injuring two officers, records show.

The officers who responded to the crash were investigated for failing to tell their supervisors in a timely manner that an off-duty officer was involved in the crash, but they were cleared of wrongdoing, sources said. Frugoli was cited in the accident, but the responding officers said they did not have evidence that Frugoli was intoxicated.

Just before 4 a.m. Friday, Frugoli was driving a Lexus SUV on the outbound Dan Ryan when he allegedly rear-ended a disabled Dodge near 18th, killing driver Andrew Cazares, 23, and his passenger, Fausto Manzera, 21. Cazares worked as a carpenter and Manzera was a DePaul University student.

Frugoli’s blood-alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit, sources said. He may have been drinking in a bar on Halsted on the Near West Side before Friday’s fatal wreck, the sources said.

If the allegations against the off-duty Chicago Police officer are true, how on earth are we going to get private citizens to recognize the dangers of DUI when we cannot get Chicago Police Officers to do the same?