Friday, July 29, 2011

Chicago DUI Attorney Comments on the Suspended License of a Congressman

This Chicago DUI attorney knows that anyone could end up with a suspended or revoked license.  She’s posted here, here, and here  about the myriad of ways one could have their license suspended.  Still, a congressman, from the Land of Lincoln, driving on a suspended license is a surprise.

July 28, Chicago, Il:
 Freshman U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh, a tax-bashing Tea Party champion who sharply lectures President Barack Obama and other Democrats on fiscal responsibility, owes more than $100,000 in child support to his ex-wife and three children, according to documents his ex-wife filed in their divorce case in December.
“I won’t place one more dollar of debt upon the backs of my kids and grandkids unless we structurally reform the way this town spends money!” Walsh says directly into the camera in his viral video lecturing Obama on the need to get the nation’s finances in order.
In court documents, after his ex-wife, Laura Walsh, asked a judge to suspend his driver’s license until he paid his child support, Joe Walsh asks his ex-wife’s lawyer: “Have you no decency?”
Staffers learned during the campaign that Walsh was driving on a suspended license. His license was suspended twice in 2008 for his failure to appear in court, and he was cited in 2009 for driving on a suspended license, according to the Illinois Secretary of State.
 Anyone can have their license suspended.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Chicago DUI Attorney Comments on an Increase in Deportations

This Chicago DUI attorney has posted here, here, and here on DUI and immigration issues.  Surprisingly, it appears ICE is using minor crimes, like DUI, to aid in the deportation of individuals accused.

The U.S. deported nearly 393,000 people in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, half of whom were considered criminals. Of those, 27,635 had been arrested for drunken driving, more than double the 10,851 deported after drunken driving arrests in 2008, the last full year of the Bush administration, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement data provided to The Associated Press.
 An additional 13,028 were deported last year after being arrested on less serious traffic law violations, nearly three times the 4,527 traffic offenders deported two years earlier, according to the data.
 Darrel Stephens, executive director of Major Cities Chiefs Association, an organization of sheriffs and police chiefs, said the data show ICE is deporting criminals. He noted that even though traffic offenses have more than doubled, they are just 7 percent of the total criminal deportations. Meanwhile, dangerous drugs and drunken driving deportations comprised 23 percent and 14 percent of the criminal deportations, respectively.
 The drunken driving deportations are particularly important, he said. Fatal drunken driving accidents involving illegal immigrants often cause outrage in communities where they occur.
 "That's a crime that people look at in a very serious way right now," Stephens said.
There are an estimated 11 million people in the country illegally, 7 million to 8 million of whom are believed to be adults.
 Kibble said the numbers show his agency's system of giving priority for deportation to people who pose a public threat is working. Last year, 36,178 criminals were deported as a result of the Secure Communities program, now in place in more than 1,400 jurisdictions, up from 14 in 2008. It's expected to be in more than 3,000 jurisdictions nationally by 2013.
It’s just one more reason to avoid driving at all if you are undocumented, wait unfortunately most of us live and reality and recognize that the undocumented are going to drive whether we provide a valid way for them to do so or not.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Chicago DUI Attorney Saw the Police Out Tonight in Full Force!

Tonight I was coming back into the City from the Women’s Bar Association Board Retreat in Highland Park.  I thought I was smart and took Metra out to the ‘burbs.  I caught a ride back. 

As we drove back into the city dropping off one person in Lakeview, then another in Logan Square I thought it would be easy, “just take Kedzie south to North and then head over east I said.

All was clear until we turned onto North Avenue and I could see a squad car with lights on just ahead of us and another a quarter of a block away from it.

Tarnation! I thought.  I bet this is a road block or a saturation patrol.  I look over into the park and immediately see the mobile BAC Unit.  Yep it is.  Ugh! I was not in the mood for this.  It’s past my bed time and I need to walk my dog.  You already know I’ve blogged about these check points here, here, and here.

Immediately, I start asking the driver if her lights work and whether she has valid registration, insurance, and license.  She’s a lawyer, so her answer was yes.  She wondered if we should turn off and I said no, realizing that sometimes they expect that and you turn right into the check point.

As we continued travelling east on North Avenue, just east of Western another marked unit made a U-turn and got behind us.  Then all of a sudden I realized its lights were on.

Another car was directly behind us and that car pulled over to the curb and the marked squad car pulled up behind that vehicle.

Hmmm, no I didn’t miss a press release for that area at all. But have no doubt, they are out in full force around Humboldt Park and North Avenue tonight.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Chicago DUI Attorney Wonders if You Know What Amount of Drugs Makes You Impaired?

This Chicago DUI attorney has posted here and here about DUI’s involving drugs.  One of the biggest problems with a DUI when it involves drugs is that drugs tend to stay in the body an awful lot longer, via blood, hair, or urine testing, than alcohol.  So how far back does the state require your drug usage in order to find you guilty of Driving Under the Influence of drugs?

That’s the question that the Illinois Supreme Court answered in People v Martin, No. 109102, 2011 WL 1499909 (Ill Sup Ct).

 On December 25, 2004, at 10 p.m., the defendant left a bar in Peoria. As he was driving home on a two-lane state highway, his car crossed the center line at a curve and struck an oncoming car. The driver and the passenger of that car were killed in the accident. The defendant was injured, and he was taken to a nearby hospital where he was given a narcotic painkiller, but not methamphetamine. At the hospital he received two traffic citations, one for improper lane usage and one for driving on the wrong side of the road. After he was placed under arrest by a Peoria County sheriff’s deputy, he consented to requests for two blood and urine samples. Subsequent tests revealed that the defendant’s blood contained no alcohol or controlled substances, but his urine contained methamphetamine and amphetamine. The defendant was then indicted on one count of aggravated DUI.
 Cathy Anderson, a forensic scientist for the Illinois State Police, testified that she tested the defendant’s blood samples for alcohol and drugs. She found none. She also tested the defendant’s urine samples for drugs. A preliminary screening test indicated that a small amount-of “some sort of drug of the amphetamine class” could be present in the samples. Anderson then performed a gas chromatography mass spectrometry test, looking for a wide range of drugs. She found nothing significant. She then performed a more specific spectrometry test, looking for drugs in the amphetamine class. That test revealed the
presence of methamphetamine, though it did not indicate how much. According to Anderson, controlled substances enter the bloodstream first and are eventually eliminated through the urinary tract. She was not surprised to find methamphetamine in the urine samples, but not the blood samples. She also testified that none of the other substances in the defendant’s urine would have triggered a false indication for methamphetamine.
 That’s right, the drug has cleared his bloodstream but it was still in his urinary tract and the Illinois Supreme Court deemed that was enough to be found guilty of an aggravated DUI.  It is no longer necessary for the government to prove impaired driving (the “Under the Influence” language of the statute) the mere existence of any illicit drug is enough to convict. 

Don’t think this same standard won’t be applied in the future to prescription drugs as well.