Chicago Police to do DUI Saturation Patrols this Weekend in Wicker Park, Logan Square and Chicago Lawn

The Chicago Police Department has announced DUI Strike Force Saturation Patrols this weekend.

From their website:

The Chicago Police Department will be conducting a DUI Saturation Patrol in the Shakespeare (14th) [this is Wicker Park and Logan Square] District this weekend. The DUI Saturation Patrol will commence at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, January 13, 2017 and end at 3:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 14, 2017.

The purpose of this program is to saturate a pre-designated area with roving police officers that continually monitor vehicular traffic for signs of impaired driving. Patrols also place emphasis on speed, alcohol-related and safety belt violations. Police vehicles equipped for speed detection are deployed to apprehend speeding violators.

In addition, the Breath Alcohol Testing (BAT) Mobile Unit may also be deployed to allow officers to expedite the process of charging a person with Driving under the Influence (DUI) prior to transporting an alleged into the nearest lockup for bonding. The mobile unit also allows for Individual Recognizance Bonds (I-Bonds) to be issued at the site of the DUI Saturation Patrol. For More Information Click Here

and

The Chicago Police Department will be conducting a DUI Saturation Patrol in the Chicago Lawn (8th) District this weekend. The DUI Saturation Patrol will commence at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 14, 2017 and end at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday, January 15, 2017.

The purpose of this program is to saturate a pre-designated area with roving police officers that continually monitor vehicular traffic for signs of impaired driving. Patrols also place emphasis on speed, alcohol-related and safety belt violations. Police vehicles equipped for speed detection are deployed to apprehend speeding violators.

In addition, the Breath Alcohol Testing (BAT) Mobile Unit may also be deployed to allow officers to expedite the process of charging a person with Driving under the Influence (DUI) prior to transporting an alleged into the nearest lockup for bonding. The mobile unit also allows for Individual Recognizance Bonds (I-Bonds) to be issued at the site of the DUI Saturation Patrol. For More Information Click Here

Utah may be the first State to go to a 0.05 BAC “legal limit”

Four years ago, the NTSB recommended that the DUI “legal limit” be lowered from 0.08 to 0.05, which would put the United States in line with most other countries.  As I have noted in the past, the research as to whether 0.05 BAC is a better indicator of impairment than 0.08 is muddled.

Now, Utah, a State that has always had strict laws about alcohol sales, is looking at being the first in the nation to lower its limit to 0.05.

From the Chicago Tribune:

…state Rep. Norman Thurston, a Republican from Provo who plans to introduce a bill on the issue in the upcoming legislative session, wants that to change in 2017.

Impairment starts with the first drink, and we want to establish this state as one where you just simply do not drink and drive,” said Thurston, noting he worked with officials from the Utah Highway Patrol while drafting the legislation. “This is all about safety.”

…A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention chart shows how a blood-alcohol concentration of .05 — about three drinks in one hour for a 160-pound man — causes, among other things, altered coordination, reduced ability to track moving objects and difficulty steering a motor vehicle.

For men weighing less than 160 pounds and for women, it takes even fewer drinks to reach the .05 threshold. If Utah makes the change, it will join several countries in Europe — such as Austria, France and Germany — that have blood-alcohol limits of .05. (In Poland, it’s .02).

In 2013, the NTSB released a report recommending that states lower to .05 the limit at which people can be prosecuted for drunk driving.

…Art Brown, president of the Utah chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, told the local Fox affiliate the group would not support Thurston’s proposal. Instead, he said, the group prefers to focus on interlock devices prohibiting people from driving drunk.

“MADD’s position is we really emphasize interlocks and getting those on people and staying .08,” Brown said.

The state has long had a fraught relationship with alcohol. Mormons, who are forbidden from drinking liquor, make up nearly 60% of the population.

…In Utah, alcohol is not a major cause of fatal automobile crashes. Drunk driving was a contributing factor in about 13% of fatal crashes last year, according to the Utah Highway Safety Office. By contrast, speed played a role in 37% of deaths, and no seat belt use was a factor in 31%.

Last year, Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White stated that he believed that the 0.05 limit needed further study before he could support a chance.

Oregon Appellate Court Reverses Wheelchair DUI Conviction

Can you get a DUI in a motorized wheelchair?  The Oregon Appellate Court has said no.

From the Associated Press:

The Oregon Court of Appeals has reversed the conviction of a wheelchair user who had been found guilty of driving under the influence of intoxicants.

James Greene of Waldport was arrested in November 2012 after entering a crosswalk in a motorized wheelchair and striking the side of a moving pickup. Police determined he was impaired by alcohol and drugs, and a jury convicted him of drunken driving.

In his appeal, Greene argued that he should have been considered a pedestrian, not subject to the DUI law.

The state disagreed, pointing to a law that treats motorized wheelchairs like bicycles when they are driven on bike lanes.

In its opinion Thursday, the Appeals Court decided legislators only intended to have wheelchairs treated like bicycles in that narrow circumstance, and users should be considered pedestrians when in a crosswalk.

What about Illinois?  It is an open question.  The Illinois Vehicle Code defines a vehicle for DUI purposes as:

Every device, in, upon or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a highway or requiring a certificate of title under Section 3-101(d) of this Code, except devices moved by human power, devices used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks and snowmobiles as defined in the Snowmobile Registration and Safety Act.

For the purposes of this Code, unless otherwise prescribed, a device shall be considered to be a vehicle until such time it either comes within the definition of a junk vehicle, as defined under this Code, or a junking certificate is issued for it.
In Illinois, a motorized wheelchair could qualify as a motorized vehicle.  But common sense has prevailed, as I am not aware of any such prosecution ever being brought.

Driving Under the Influence … of Caffeine?

coffee_to_go-resized-600

A California man has been charged with “driving under the influence” of caffeine.  You can read the full story at the Guardian’s website by clicking here.

The charge is odd for a number of reasons.  The man was originally stopped based on reports that he had driven erratically.  He took a breath test, which resulted in a 0.00 BAC.  A blood test was taken, which came back negative for drugs.  A second blood test showed only positive for caffeine.  Nevertheless, the Solano County District Attorney charged him with DUI.  The case is set for trial next month.

It is kind of odd that at the same time that we are seeing an increase in concern about drowsy driving, that we would see a prosecution for caffeinated driving.

Could this happen in Illinois?  The Illinois DUI statute states:

Sec. 11-501. Driving while under the influence of alcohol, other drug or drugs, intoxicating compound or compounds or any combination thereof.
    (a) A person shall not drive or be in actual physical control of any vehicle within this State while:
        (1) the alcohol concentration in the person's blood,
    
other bodily substance, or breath is 0.08 or more based on the definition of blood and breath units in Section 11-501.2;
        (2) under the influence of alcohol;
        (3) under the influence of any intoxicating compound
    
or combination of intoxicating compounds to a degree that renders the person incapable of driving safely;
        (4) under the influence of any other drug or
    
combination of drugs to a degree that renders the person incapable of safely driving;
        (5) under the combined influence of alcohol, other
    
drug or drugs, or intoxicating compound or compounds to a degree that renders the person incapable of safely driving;
        (6) there is any amount of a drug, substance, or
    
compound in the person's breath, blood, other bodily substance, or urine resulting from the unlawful use or consumption of a controlled substance listed in the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, an intoxicating compound listed in the Use of Intoxicating Compounds Act, or methamphetamine as listed in the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act; or
        (7) the person has, within 2 hours of driving or
    
being in actual physical control of a vehicle, a tetrahydrocannabinol concentration in the person's whole blood or other bodily substance as defined in paragraph 6 of subsection (a) of Section 11-501.2 of this Code. Subject to all other requirements and provisions under this Section, this paragraph (7) does not apply to the lawful consumption of cannabis by a qualifying patient licensed under the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act who is in possession of a valid registry card issued under that Act, unless that person is impaired by the use of cannabis.

I do not see how a similar prosecution could proceed in Illinois, unless the State could convince a judge that caffeine is an “intoxicating compound.”  Does making a person jittery equal “intoxicating?”  I don’t think so, but I can’t rule out that a judge would think differently.

What do you think?

Update:  The Prosecutor has decided to drop the case

 

Chicago Police to conduct DUI saturation patrol Saturday night

From a Chicago Police Department Press release:

DUI SATURATION PATROL – JEFFERSON PARK (016th) DISTRICT

The Chicago Police Department will be conducting a DUI Saturation Patrol in the Jefferson Park (016th) District this weekend. The DUI Saturation Patrol will commence at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 17, 2016 and end at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday, December 18, 2016.

The purpose of this program is to saturate a pre-designated area with roving police officers that continually monitor vehicular traffic for signs of impaired driving. Patrols also place emphasis on speed, alcohol-related and safety belt violations. Police vehicles equipped for speed detection are deployed to apprehend speeding violators.

In addition, the Breath Alcohol Testing (BAT) Mobile Unit may also be deployed to allow officers to expedite the process of charging a person with Driving under the Influence (DUI) prior to transporting an alleged into the nearest lockup for bonding. The mobile unit also allows

for Individual Recognizance Bonds (I-Bonds) to be issued at the site of the DUI Saturation Patrol.

It should be noted that last week’s “saturation patrol” in the Albany Park District yielded only one DUI arrest.  Is it a waste of time and money?  What do you think?

AZ Cardinals WR Michael Floyd arrested for DUI

From the Associated Press:

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Michael Floyd was arrested early Monday on charges of driving under the influence and failure to obey a police officer.

Floyd was found unconscious behind the wheel of his running vehicle at a Scottsdale intersection shortly before 3 a.m. MST., police said.

Police said Floyd also was charged with obstructing a roadway.

He was booked and released from the Scottsdale jail at 4:58 a.m., police said.

Pirates’ Kang arrested for third DUI in Korea

kang

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Pirates third baseman Jung Ho Kang’s arrest in South Korea last week on a charge of driving under the influence — his third DUI arrest since 2009 — will trigger a mandatory assessment from a joint treatment panel under baseball’s collective bargaining agreement.

The Pirates said Monday that they did not know about Kang’s two prior DUI arrests before they signed him in January 2015…

According to a State Department official, the consular officer reviewing visa cases might require a medical examination to determine whether there is a visa ineligibility if someone has been charged with drunk driving. Kang received a work visa and played for the Pirates in 2015 and this year after the two previous DUIs. The official said the State Department cannot discuss individual visa cases…

Kang was charged with leaving the scene of a DUI accident Friday morning in Seoul after he crashed into a guard rail. Local police told the Yonhap News Agency that a friend of Kang’s in the passenger seat initially told police that the friend was driving, but the car’s black box identified Kang as the driver. The friend, identified only by the surname Yoo, told police the swap was done out of goodwill, but if police determine Kang asked or forced Yoo to claim responsibility, they both could face abetting charges.

Kang’s blood alcohol level was 0.084, above Korea’s legal limit of 0.05. In Pennsylvania, the legal limit is 0.08. Kang’s license is subject to revocation because he committed his third DUI offense, and he cannot reacquire it for two years.

“I’d like to apologize to everyone who is disappointed with me,” Kang said in a statement Friday. “Today, I got behind the wheel after drinking, and committed an irrevocable mistake. I panicked at the moment of the accident and did something that I never should have done.”

Kang also has been the subject of an investigation by Chicago police of allegations of a sexual assault in June, when the Pirates were in town to play the Cubs.