Saturday, July 31, 2010

Chicago DUI attorney comments on LILO's non-VIP treatment

This Chicago DUI attorney has posted here, here, and here about the trouble with LILO.

It appears she will be released from jail early.  This isn’t the VIP treatment.

Lindsay Lohan could be released from jail as early as Saturday or Sunday, according to reports, at which point she'll be headed to rehab.
Lohan's attorney Shawn Chapman Holley visited the actress at the Lynwood jail Friday. She said Lohan was doing fine and looking forward to her release, though she said she wasn't sure exactly when that would be.
When she's released, Lohan will have 24 hours to check into a rehab center -- reportedly Morningside Recovery in Newport Beach.

Lohan was sentenced to 90 days in jail, but is expected to serve only 12 or 13 because of prison overcrowding.
According to, a judge agreed to grant Lindsay two days credit for time she was previously in custody, and that Lohan's legal team is looking to move her release date to as early as this weekend, if possible.
 All of this would routinely occur in sentencing of many defendants in Illinois.  Do you think the taxpayers want their dollars spent on housing LILO in jail?

Friday, July 30, 2010

Chicago DUI attorney comments on the consequences of a fake ID

This Chicago DUI attorney posted here earlier this week about the consequences of possessing or manufacturing fake ID’s.
In this challenging economy, there are cottage businesses for the procurement and manufacture of fake ID’s.
A Chicago man has been charged with making hundreds of fake drivers licenses and identifications cards used by minors as young as 15-years-old in and around Wilmette to illegally buy alcohol, authorities said Friday.
Investigators on Friday also said they recovered computers, monitors, printers, scanners, backdrops and numerous Michigan and California drivers license decals with hologram and said they will be sending Schniedermeir’s computer to a forensic crime lab in an attempt to identify the total number of fictitiously issued licenses.
They said their investigation started two months ago after Wilmette minors in possession of fake IDs were arrested after they bought alcohol. Police said Schniedermeir sold the fake IDs for $100 minors and said they closely resembled authentic California and Michigan driver’s licenses.
The Wilmette Police are encouraging anyone who bought a fake driver’s licenses from Schniedermeir to turn it in at the Wilmette Police Department. By Friday afternoon, 30 people had surrendered their fictitious licenses, said police.
Authorities promised not to charge anyone who turns in a fake ID with a crime.
The Secretary of State does not require an individual to be charged with a crime in order to revoke driving privileges. In this case, that could be for the manufacturer as well as the individual who bought the fake ID.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Chicago DUI attorney comments on DUI consequences for the self-employed

This Chicago DUI attorney has posted here and here about MDDP.  It’s the Illinois program that lets people who are accused of a DUI drive a vehicle with a BAIID installed.  One of the exceptions is an exemption for work.
Suppose you work for a company that requires you to drive company vehicles, well you can’t install a BAIID on your bosses car right?  Even the Secretary of State agrees with that except when you are either 1) self-employed or 2) work for a family member.
(a-2) Persons who are issued a MDDP and must drive employer-owned vehicles in the course of their employment duties may seek permission to drive an employer-owned vehicle that does not have an ignition interlock device.

 No person may use this exemption to drive an employer-owned motor vehicle that is owned by an entity that is wholly or partially owned by the person holding the MDDP, or by a family member of the person holding the MDDP.
Clearly, this is a blow for those who are legitimately self-employed or work in a family business.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Chicago DUI attorney comments on the serious consequences of a fake ID for college students

This Chicago DUI attorney has posted here and here about the additional consequences of a DUI arrest for people under the age of twenty-one. 

There are equally damaging consequences for those under twenty-one who do what many would consider a right of passage… the fake ID.

Why would you want a fake ID?  It has absolutely nothing, in this specific application, to do with fraudulent immigration or ID theft.  That’s all over the media these days.  It has everything to do with trying to hang with the grown ups. 

A fake ID may not land you an audience with the Department of Homeland Security, but rest assured, you can land in an awful lot of hot water with the Secretary of State.

92 IAC 1040.32 a)5)C)

Fraudulent driver's license or permit: If any person has knowingly possessed, displayed or caused to be displayed any fraudulent driver's license, identification card or permit; knowingly possessed without authority any driver's license-making implement; or knowingly duplicated, manufactured, sold or transferred any fraudulent driver's license, identification card or permit, the Department shall take the following action pursuant to IVC Section 6-301.2 or Section 14 of the Illinois Identification Card Act:

Offenses                              Action
1st or subsequent Offense             Revocation
Now can you see how even if you aren’t busted using a fake ID to buy alcohol or get into a club, just having it is enough to loose your license.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Chicago DUI attorney comments on how following doctor's orders can get you arrested

This Chicago DUI attorney has posted here and here about DUI’s that do not involve alcohol.  Right now, there are large numbers of people driving on prescription medications that are guilty of DUI.

The issue is vexing police officials because, unlike with alcohol, there is no agreement on what level of drugs in the blood impairs driving.
The behavioral effects of prescription medication vary widely, depending not just on the drug but on the person taking it. Some, like anti-anxiety drugs, can dull alertness and slow reaction time; others, like stimulants, can encourage risk-taking and hurt the ability to judge distances. Mixing prescriptions, or taking them with alcohol or illicit drugs, can exacerbate impairment and sharply increase the risk of crashing, researchers say.
“In the past it was cocaine, it was PCP, it was marijuana,” said Chuck Hayes of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. “Now we’re into this prescription drug era that is giving us a whole new challenge.”
The police also struggle with the challenge of prosecuting someone who was taking valid prescriptions.
“How do we balance between people who legitimately need their prescriptions and protecting the public?” said Mark Neil, senior lawyer at the National Traffic Law Center, which works with prosecutors. “It becomes a very delicate balance.”
Some states have made it illegal to drive with any detectable level of prohibited drugs in the blood. But setting any kind of limit for prescription medications is far more complicated, partly because the complex chemistry of drugs makes their effects more difficult to predict than alcohol’s. And determining whether a driver took drugs soon before getting on the road can be tricky, since some linger in the body for days or weeks.
Unable to prove impairment with blood tests, prosecutors in drugged-driving cases rely heavily on the testimony of “drug recognition experts,” law enforcement officers trained to spot signs of impairment in drivers. But there are only about 7,000 such officers nationwide, Mr. Hayes said, not nearly enough to respond to every traffic stop that may involve drugs.
“When they are involved,” he said of the experts, “our chances of convicting people are much higher.”
But persuading a jury to convict someone of impaired driving due to prescription drugs remains difficult except for the most egregious cases, said Douglas F. Gansler, the attorney general in Maryland.
“Because most people on the jury will also likely be taking prescription drugs for some ailment,” Mr. Gansler said, “whether it’s Lipitor or allergy pills or whatever it might be, they might think, ‘I don’t want that to become criminal.’ ”
Just remember, if you have a prescription for any medication you should check with your doctor about driving while having that drug in your system.  Seriously, you don’t want a DUI for following doctor’s orders do you?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Chicago DUI attorney comments on the forfeiture of your car

This Chicago DUI attorney has posted here, here, and here about the collateral consequences to a DUI arrest. 

Even if you aren’t driving under the influence the government can still take your car:

Our legislature has determined that one of the best ways to achieve the objective of keeping alcohol and drug impaired drivers off the roadways is to subject their vehicles to forfeiture if they are caught driving with a license that has been revoked or suspended because of a previous DUI conviction.
In evaluating the harshness of the penalty (forfeiture), courts agree that forfeiture of personal property is less harsh than forfeiture of real property. One 2000 GMC, 357 Ill. App. 3d at 876; People v. $5,970 United States Currency, 279 Ill. App. 3d 583, 592, 664 N.E.2d 1115 (1996). Moreover, in conducting this evaluation, it is appropriate to consider the forfeiture statutes' remedial goals of deterring drunk drivers and removing them from the roadways. One 2000 GMC, 357 Ill. App. 3d at 878.
The record indicates that claimant's vehicle was worth $9,000. In One 2000 GMC, the reviewing court determined that the forfeiture of a $28,000 vehicle was not grossly disproportionate to the claimant's offense of driving on a license that had been previously summarily suspended under the implied consent statute (625 ILCS 5/11-501.1 (West 2002)). One 2000 GMC, 357 Ill. App. 3d at 878.
In light of the inherent gravity of claimant's offense and the remedial purposes of the forfeiture statutes, and given the fact that the reviewing court in One 2000 GMC upheld a much greater forfeiture under similar circumstances, we find that the forfeiture of claimant's vehicle was not grossly disproportionate to the gravity of the offense as to violate the excessive fines clause.
Please keep in mind, that the defendant did not cause any bodily harm and yet having a vehicle valued at $9,000.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Chicago DUI attorney comments on the fear of unplugging in a connected world

This Chicago DUI attorney has posted here, here, and here about distracted driving.

Even the Suntimes Editorial weighed in on the local tragedy connected to distracted driving:

As he sentenced to 18 months in prison a driver who -- while painting her nails -- ran over and killed a motorcyclist, Lake County Judge Fred Foreman on Thursday lamented America's "epidemic" of distracted driving.
Epidemic is right.
When we drive, according to a recent federal study, we spend almost a fourth of our time behind the wheel doing something else, such as talking on the phone, putting on makeup or dealing with a pet.
Roughly 80 percent of crashes and 65 percent of near-crashes involve drivers who were distracted by someone or something within three seconds of the incident, an earlier report concluded.
Obviously, we know better than to drive while glancing at a newspaper or reaching for something in the back seat.
Yet we've convinced ourselves that we can take our eyes off the road for a moment or two without doing harm.
 So how did we get to this point?  For me, it all started with the horrifying death of a young woman a long time ago.  This was back in the era of car phones.

It's hard to believe the Tammy Zywicki story from 17 years ago still hasn't been solved. At the time, the crime shocked Chicago and especially parents who watch their sons and daughters drive off to college every fall. Who doesn't take a deep breath in fear that something might happen? As CBS 2's Bill Kurtis reports in this cold case, it did. 

Tammy Zywicki was a year away from graduation and on her last official drive to college in the summer of 1992. 

On August 23rd, the 21-year-old dropped off her brother at Northwestern University. She then pointed her car toward Grinnell College in Iowa for a senior year she would never begin. 

Later that day, Tammy's white 1985 Pontiac was discovered off Interstate 80, abandoned with no trace of the young coed. It was as if she simply vanished. 

Nine days later, the unthinkable happened. Near the town of Joplin in rural Missouri, almost 500 miles from her recovered car, Tammy's beaten body was uncovered in a ditch. She had been stabbed repeatedly and sexually assaulted. 

Somewhere between Chicago and central Illinois, the drive for Tammy Zywicki took a deadly turn. 

A nationwide manhunt followed with facts that could script every parent's nightmare: a young daughter is kidnapped and brutally murdered while driving to college alone. 

A passerby caught the last known glimpse of Tammy alive on Interstate 80 by LaSalle, Ill. At mile marker 83, she was seen crouched over her popped hood after her car had apparently broken down. 

This was a huge story and I promptly purchased, like scores of local women, an expensive (and huge) car phone.  There was no way we were going to rely on the kindness of strangers in case we had car trouble. 

Today we use our phones for everything from checking email to providing us with GPS directions to our destination.  In our 24/7 society it is difficult to convince peoples that unplugging (reading, eating, or painting our nails) can mean the difference between life and death.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Chicago DUI attorney comments on DUI roadblocks when the weather is bad

This Chicago DUI attorney has posted here, here, and here about DUI roadblocks.

Just in case you thought the Chicago Police Department had more important things to do there will be another roadblock tonight. 

The Chicago Police Department will conduct a Roadside Safety Check in the Englewood (007th) District at 6401 S. Ashland. The Roadside Safety Check will commence at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, July 23, 2010 and end at 4:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 24, 2010.  
During roadside checks, police officers slow down traffic, stop cars at regular intervals and watch for drivers who show signs of alcohol impairment and other violations as noted below.
“The program is designated to apprehend drivers who are operating vehicles while under the influence of alcohol or drugs,” said Superintendent Jody Weis. “It also offers an opportunity to issue citations to drivers who are otherwise a hazard to themselves and others on the public way.”
  Given tonight’s weather the last thing you want to do is have to attempt Field Sobriety Testing in the rain.  Don’t forget they will impound your car if you are charged with a DUI.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Chicago DUI attorney provides an update on the nail painting case

This Chicago DUI attorney has posted here, here, and here about distracted driving. 

Now comes the sentence of the woman who was painting her nails and accidently killed a motorcyclist.

Lora Hunt, the woman found guilty of reckless homicide for crashing into a motorcyclist while painting her nails will spend her nights in jail for 18 months but will be allowed to leave during the day for work, counseling and community service.
 A jury found Hunt, of Morris, guilty on May 6 of causing Zaffke's death when Hunt's car rear-ended struck from behind as she sat on her motorcycle at a red light near Lake Zurich on May 2, 2009.
During today's sentencing hearing, which lasted more than three hours, several people also spoke on behalf of Hunt, who at times sobbed.
Judge Fred Foreman's sentence includes 18 months of night imprisonment in Lake County, 240 hours of community service and 30 months of probation. Hunt was ordered to begin her sentence immediately.
It’s time we stopped treating driving like we do blinking.  Many have driven from Point A to Point B on auto pilot before. No one wants to end up like Ms. Zaffke or live the rest of your life with the remorse of Ms. Hunt.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Chicago DUI attorney comments on the criminalization of driving without car insurance

This Chicago DUI attorney has posted here about being the victim in a car accident.  In Illinois, there is now a new law that penalizes you for driving without insurance.  It’s a Class A misdemeanor.  Class A misdemeanors include DUI and carry a maximum penalty of a year in jail or fines up to $2500 if convicted.

 (a) No person shall operate a motor vehicle unless the motor vehicle is covered by a liability insurance policy in accordance with Section 7-601 of this Code.
    (a-5) A person commits the offense of operation of uninsured motor vehicle causing bodily harm when the person:
        (1) operates a motor vehicle in violation of Section
     7-601 of this Code; and
        (2) causes, as a proximate result of the person's
     operation of the motor vehicle, bodily harm to another person.
    (a-6) Uninsured operation of a motor vehicle under
     subsection (a-5) is a Class A misdemeanor.
 Did you notice that the law doesn’t indicate how serious that personal injury must be?  It makes no distinction between going to the hospital and deciding perhaps you don’t need treatment but a couple of aspirin.  Additionally, this law has no defenses for driving a vehicle that isn’t your own or thinking the insurance bill has been paid by your spouse and it hasn’t.  Is this really what you think the law should be?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Chicago DUI attorney discusses the enhanced consequences of a subsequent DUI

This Chicago DUI attorney has posted here, here, and here about the consequences of a DUI.  What happens if you are the person who is charged with a DUI… again?

The stakes are considerably higher.  In Illinois, a DUI can’t be sealed or expunged.  That means it is on your record forever.  In Illinois, at the minimum, a DUI is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, fines up to $2500, or any combination of jail and fines.

If it is the second or subsequent time, you have been charged with a DUI, within the last five years, and you submit to chemical testing with a result over the legal limit of .08 your driving privileges will be suspended for at least one year.   On the other hand, if you refuse to submit to chemical testing (and it isn’t your first DUI arrest in the last five years) your license will be suspended for a minimum of three years.  This is simply for being charged with a DUI.  Even if your DUI is dismissed, your license would still be suspended unless you are able to beat the Statutory Summary Suspension.

If you are found guilty, or you choose to plead guilty, on a DUI and this is not the first DUI charge you have had with a guilty disposition, one of the most significant collateral consequences of that subsequent DUI is a revocation of your driving privileges.

When an Illinois Driver’s license is revoked, based on a conviction for a DUI, driving privileges cannot be restored without a successful hearing before the Secretary of State.

The bottom line is it is especially important to consider all of your defense options if you get charged with a DUI the first time.  

Friday, July 16, 2010

Chicago DUI attorney comments on the criminalization of speeding


Last week this Chicago DUI attorney picked up a friend to go see a movie.  Her friend had forgotten what it’s like to be in the passenger seat.

Hopping onto the Expressway she yelled, “They’re lapping you!”  “What?” Then we both realized she was annoyed because drivers were literally passing us up.

You see, this Chicago DUI attorney drives, ridiculously slow to most people, including her husband.  She drives the speed limit.  Here’s one more reason that you may wish to give yourself enough time, plus the contingencies, for getting where you want to get without speeding.

 Amends the Illinois Vehicle Code. Provides that a person who drives a vehicle upon any highway of this State at a speed that is 30 miles per hour or more but less than 40 miles per hour in excess of the applicable maximum speed limit established under the Illinois Vehicle Code or a local ordinance commits a Class B misdemeanor.
 Do you know what happens if you drive the speed limit on the expressway?  Most folks are “lapping” you by about thirty miles per hour over the posted speed limit.  Folks, a Class B misdemeanor, upon a conviction, has a maximum penalty of six months in jail and up to $1,500 in court fines. 

Is it really that serious to drive that fast to you?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Chicago DUI attorney comments on "Defendants Demanding Trial"

This Chicago DUI attorney sometimes finds handling legal matters a lot like blinking.  It becomes a reflex.  Today as a case against a client was dismissed I said what I always say in response to the words from the prosecutor, “Motion State S-O-L”.  Whenever those words are the call, my response is the same, “Defendant Demands Trial”.  Some lawyers are clever and simply say, “D-D-T”.

Whenever a Defendant Demands Trial and is not in custody, the prosecutor has one hundred and sixty days to answer ready.  In this case, if they choose to do something very rare, but it does happen, and re-instate the charges against the defendant then they better get a move on and get to trial in a timely manner as required by law.

If the prosecutor is unable to answer ready for trial within that time frame and they are unable to convince the court to provide them with an extension, and the defendant has always used that response of “Defendant Demands Trial” then all charges are dismissed against the accused and they can’t come back.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Chicago DUI attorney thinks it's a good idea that the accused understand what is happening when arrested

This Chicago DUI attorney posted here about law enforcement making sure the accused knows the consequences of a DUI arrest.

There’s good news for everyone charged with a DUI now, at least in New Jersey.

The New Jersey Supreme Court this week created the first ever constitutional right to receive D.U.I. testing in the native tongue of the accused as it overturned the conviction of a man who refused to take a blood-alcohol test because he did not understand the warnings in English.
As noted by the New Jersey Attorney General’s office, “This ruling effectively provides an immunity claim in a prosecution for violating the refusal statute for any drunk driver who speaks a language that the officer is unable to identify or translate.” With national implications, this ruling goes beyond D.U.I. testing and could begin the process of burdening police officers with the responsibility of interacting with the public in whichever language a person chooses.
“Placing the burden on already cash-strapped police departments to interact with suspects in their native language is a ridiculous requirement in a state where over 150 languages are spoken,” said Mauro E. Mujica, Chairman of U.S. English, Inc. “By requiring language translations for any encounter with an individual who does not speak English, New Jersey is literally issuing a ‘Get out of Jail Free’ card for those who don’t speak the operating language of our roads—English.”
 In Illinois, the Driver’s License test is given in languages aside from English, so it would be a surprise to learn that New Jersey doesn’t do the same thing.

What do you want to bet the 2nd place team will try to get this before the U.S. Supreme Court?  In light of Padilla’s requirements that collateral consequences must be provided to the accused by attorneys, perhaps they shouldn’t bother.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Chicago DUI attorney is puzzled by the rational relation between a DUI and your 2nd Amendment rights

This Chicago DUI attorney has posted on a myriad of consequences that go along with a DUI here, here, and here.  Just when you thought it was safe to have a gun in the City there’s a new consequence of a DUI that encroaches on the 2nd Amendment rights that we thought were resolved in McDonald v. City of Chicago.

Mayor Daley today denied that he’s making Chicago gun owners jump through hoops to exercise their Second Amendment rights and expressed confidence the city’s new gun law can withstand a court challenge.
“We’re not jumping through hoops. We have to have accountability. ... This is protection of the city from lawsuits from a lot of people,” the mayor said.
“You have to ask for reasonable gun laws. Until the federal government seizes more illegal guns, that is the issue.”
The new ordinance requires Chicagoans to register their weapons, but only after obtaining firearms safety training comprised of at least four hours in the classroom and one hour on a firing range.
The Chicago Firearms Permit would cost $100 and have to be renewed every three years.
Chicagoans would be prohibited from obtaining permits if they are: under 18; over 18 but under 21 without parent’s permission; been convicted of a violent crime, domestic violence, two or more drug or drunk driving offenses; lack vision sufficient for a driver’s license or lack a valid Firearm Owners Identification Card.
Can you tell me what on earth a DUI has to do with having a hand gun in your home (remember the current law does not permit you to carry a gun in your car or on your person)?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Chicago DUI attorney comments on the sticky situation of City Stickers

This Chicago DUI dutifully purchased her Chicago City Sticker and special parking permit last month.  At approximately 6:45 pm on June 30th she removed the old sticker and placed the new one on the lower right side of her windshield.  Much to her chagrin, she noticed it wasn’t sticking in one corner.  She kept applying pressure but it kept rolling back.  She drove to Wisconsin to stalk trout and that darn sticker kept peeling away.  Luckily, she got word that the sticker was defective.


Parking ticket enforcement for vehicle stickers (“City stickers”) and residential parking permits will not begin Citywide until August 1st.  The deadline extension for purchase and display of the City’s vehicle sticker was recently announced by the Office of the City Clerk to provide ample time for motorists who unfortunately received defective stickers with little or no adhesive to replace those stickers free of charge. 
The Office of the City Clerk announced the revised enforcement date noting that stickers must be purchased and displayed before the end of the month.  To avoid motorists being issued tickets through no fault of their own, parking enforcement Citywide for all vehicle sticker and residential permit parking will be suspended until August 1, including enforcement for missing or expired stickers.  Residential parking permit enforcement is also being suspended until August 1 because the annual permits are purchased as combined stickers with the City’s vehicle sticker.  As always, any motorist who is issued a ticket in error should call 312.744.PARK (7275) or 311.
 Anyone else wondering how many traffic citations will be issued to people with missing or expired stickers?  Generally, the lack of a valid sticker is enough to be ticketed, that means you will have a conversation with a police officer, and we all know what that could lead to.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Chicago DUI attorney thinks the government doesn't want you to understand the law

This Chicago DUI attorney has posted here and here about Statutory Summary Suspensions.  This suspension occurs simply for being arrested for a DUI.  It occurs if you submit to chemical testing and the results are over the legal limit of .08 or if you refuse to submit to chemical testing.
In Illinois, the arresting officer is required to read to the accused a statement that spells out the possible penalties and consequences for submitting to the testing or refusing the tests.  Can you believe that they are only required to read these Warnings to Motorist; it’s not required that the Motorist actually hear these Warnings or understand them.
Some states are now challenging whether that should be the case,

When German Marquez, was charged with driving while impaired by Plainfield, N.J., police in 2007, he was read a statement in English warning him of the penalties he faced if he did not submit to a breath test.
Marquez, who speaks Spanish, but not English, says he did not understand and did not take the test. In addition to a driving while impaired charge, he was charged with failure to take a breath test.
In a case pending before the state Supreme Court, Marquez's attorney, Michael Blacker, is asking for that conviction to be overturned and for the court to mandate translations of the statement about the breath test, which state law requires to be read before it is administered. A decision is scheduled to be released today. "If the statement were translated it would level the playing field equal to English speakers," Blacker says.
The language issue is one states have grappled with on similar cases for years, with none so far requiring translations of these statements for non-English speakers, says Jeffrey Mandel, who filed a brief in support of the Marquez case for the Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers of New Jersey.
In most states, drivers are deemed as having given implied consent to a breath test as a condition of being on the road, and are reminded when stopped by police that refusing to do so can result in penalties as severe as those for impaired driving, Blacker says.
However, the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey, believes the lack of a translation policy means non-English speakers are being held to a "higher standard" of remembering what's in the driver's manual. The ACLU, in a statement, likens it to the importance of translating Miranda rights and court proceedings, which the state's courts do provide.
State approaches to the breath-test consent, Mandel says, typically fall into one of two categories:
• At least seven states call for "reasonable" efforts to be made by police to have those facing prosecution understand the consequences of refusing the test: Alaska, Iowa, Nebraska, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington and Wisconsin. Definitions of "reasonable" have varied depending on the judge and the facts of each case, but several rulings have focused on an officer making a good faith attempt to convey the warning, Mandel says.
• Five other states — Georgia, Illinois, Oregon, Ohio and Minnesota — follow the view of New Jersey's Democratic Attorney General Paula Dow that the law requires the statement be read, not that drivers must understand it.
New Jersey's brief in the Marquez case also argues that it is impractical, when time is of the essence in testing for sobriety, to ascertain which foreign language the driver speaks and obtain translation, says Peter Asselstine, spokesman for New Jersey's Attorney General's office.
Since April, New Jersey has provided police with a website where the statement is provided in both audio and written form in the 10 foreign languages widely spoken in the state. Asselstine says use of the site is not required. State Police have used it, said spokesman Detective Brian Polite, but have not kept statistics about how often. The police wait until they return to headquarters to use the website, and then administer the breath test, Polite says.
 Anyone else think it’s odd that we wouldn’t want folks to understand what could happen to them in criminal proceedings?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Chicago DUI attorney comments on the governor putting the brakes on red light cameras

This Chicago DUI attorney has posted here and here on red light cameras.  The governor has decided to reel in the use of these safety devices.

Traffic tickets from much-despised red-light cameras will be a little easier to fight next year under legislation signed Friday by Gov. Pat Quinn.
The new law gives motorists more leeway in filing an appeal to a red-light citation and requires independent verification of an alleged violation before a ticket is issued.

The measure bans the city of Chicago and suburbs from tacking on a fee to the standard $100 fine if a ticket is appealed, a common practice that can deter a motorist from fighting the charge.
Critics say the law still falls short of what is needed, but it represented a compromise in response to the rising number of complaints that have proliferated across Chicago and suburbs in recent years. But the battle lines have been drawn between proponents who believe traffic safety improves when cameras are present and staunch opponents who believe the red light cameras are a menace that should be eliminated.
“Red light cameras in Illinois should serve the public good and improve public safety,” Quinn said in a statement. “It is important that we protect consumers by putting an end to abuse of red light cameras. This new law is a step in the right direction by properly regulating these cameras while improving the rights of Illinois’ motorists to appeal red light camera tickets.”
Other elements of the new law:
*Give drivers more wiggle room to creep up to the edge of an intersection before stopping. A complete stop would still be required before making a right turn on red, but drivers could come to a halt after the painted stop line without getting a ticket as long as pedestrians were not nearby. Drivers awaiting a green light to head straight into an intersection also could make stops past the stop line without being nabbed by a camera.

 Hold your horses; this law doesn’t go into effect until January 2011.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Chicago DUI attorney comments on tax dollars being spend on in-car alcohol detection devices

This Chicago DUI attorney has posted here about in-car alcohol detection devices becoming standard operating equipment.

Such technology has just gotten a big boost from Congress with your tax money.

  A debate is raging over an effort to develop technology effectively shutting down cars when alcohol is detected in a driver's bloodstream - with proponents saying it would be an optional tool that will save lives and critics contending that a nanny-state government will use it to keep Americans from driving home after drinking a single beer at a baseball game.
The catalyst is a push by New York Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer to provide $60 million over five years to develop in-vehicle technology that would recognize a driver's blood alcohol concentration. 
The goal is a non-intrusive alcohol level detection system, something that requires virtually no effort (unlike the ignition interlocks imposed on convicted drunk drivers that require breath samples to start a car). While it's too early to know what the technology would look like, it could be anything from a system that can read a finger when it touches a steering wheel to a mechanism that detects the presence of alcohol from a driver's normal breathing.
The senator did say that the device would not be mandatory on all cars.  So anyone else wonder why you would develop such a technology?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Chicago DUI attorney explains the good, the bad, and the ugly of a DUI sentencing order

This Chicago DUI attorney has posted here and here about the need to follow the sentencing orders if you are found guilty or plead guilty to a DUI.  Looks like one celebrity didn’t manage to do that.

A Beverly Hills judge ruled Tuesday that Lindsay Lohan violated the terms of her probation in a drunk driving case when she failed to attend alcohol education classes and sentenced her to 90 days in jail.
Judge Marsha N. Revel stated several instances over the last few years in which the actress lied about taking drugs and drinking.
"It's like someone who cheats but doesn't think it's cheating if they don't get caught," Revel said.
[Updated at 3:47 p.m.: The judge said that Lohan had repeatedly deceived authorities following her first drunk driving arrest in 2007. She said Lohan lied by pretending she was not the driver in that case. Two months later Lohan was arrested for drunk driving.
"Once again she lied about her driving," Revel said.
The judge said Lohan again lied when a white substance was found in her pants and tried to say they were someone's else pants. Revel said she tested positive for cocaine after the arrest.
"She lied then and lied prior to that," Revel said.
In addition to 90 days in jail, the judge sentenced Lohan to 90 days in a drug rehab center.]
Before sentencing, a tearful Lohan addressed the court, saying "as far as I knew I was in compliance with my programs.”
If you have any questions about your sentence, you need to ask before you are sentenced.  If you have any difficulty with complying with your sentencing order you need to speak to your attorney.  Don’t wait until the violations stack up against you.  Just like LILO, in Illinois you agree that if you don’t comply with the terms of the sentencing agreement you can be re-sentenced and that re-sentencing can include jail.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Chicago DUI attorney thinks the Gov. has opened a can of worms with a vague new law to protect cyclists

This Chicago DUI attorney has posted here and here about cycling.  Today, the Governor has opened a can of worms by signing a particularly vague piece of legislation to protect cyclists from motorists.  Can you see the problem?

 Amends the Illinois Vehicle Code. Provides that a person commits crowding or threatening a bicyclist when a person driving a motor vehicle recklessly drives the motor vehicle unnecessarily close to, toward, or near a bicyclist. Provides that every person convicted of crowding or threatening a bicyclist shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor if the violation does not result in great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement to another. Provides that if a crowding or threatening a bicyclist violation results in great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement to another, the person shall be guilty of a Class 4 felony. Provides that a person commits Projecting or throwing missiles at bicyclists, a Class A misdemeanor, when a person projects or throws any missile (defined as any object or substance) at or against a bicyclist. Effective immediately.
 So it will be a Class A misdemeanor when there isn’t great bodily harm to the cyclist.    In Illinois, that's the same maximum penalty as a DUI, up to 364 days in the county jail and/or fines up to $2500.  Do you think they are about to ban bike messengers from business districts during rush hour?

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Chicago DUI attorney wants to remind you that DUI Drugs can be legal drugs

This Chicago DUI attorney has posted here about holiday roadblocks.  It's the holiday weekend and they're back.

Illinois State Police will participate in a multi-state DUI enforcement detail over the holiday weekend along Interstate 94.
The joint effort from Michigan to Montana will emphasize identifying and stopping drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The goal is to decrease the numbers of serious and fatal crashes involving impaired drivers.
In this area, an increased presence of troopers will be on the north Tri-State Tollway, Edens Spur, and the Edens, Kennedy and Dan Ryan expressways.
Did you notice that they mention Driving Under the Influence of Drugs?  Just keep in mind that Driving Under the Influence of Drugs can include  a medication given to you by your doctor as well as the drugs you may have legally consumed in a foreign country on your last vacation.