Atlanta Hawk Chandler Parsons seriously injured by drunk driver; career in jeopardy

From ESPN:

A law firm representing Chandler Parsons says the Atlanta Hawks forward suffered potentially career-ending injuries in an automobile accident caused by a drunk driver last week.

The Hawks announced last Wednesday that Parsons had been placed in the NBA’s concussion protocol after suffering a concussion and whiplash in the crash, but did not disclose any further details.

The law firm Morgan & Morgan, however, said Monday in a statement that Parsons “suffered multiple severe and permanent injuries including a traumatic brain injury, disc herniation and a torn labrum.”

The firm said the driver who caused the crash, who is not identified in the statement, was arrested and charged with DUI. The driver allegedly caused a three-car crash, including Parsons’ vehicle, at approximately 2 p.m. ET and admitted to drinking, according to the law firm.

“Chandler was seriously injured in this crash, which never should have occurred,” Morgan & Morgan said in its statement.

“The at-fault driver created utter chaos on the roadway, needlessly endangering the lives of countless motorists; he now stands charged with DUI, admitted drinking, had alcohol in the car with him, passed out after causing a three-car crash at 2:00PM on a Wednesday in a busy intersection, seriously injuring and potentially ending Mr. Parsons’ career as a professional athlete.”

Update: man charged with Aggravated DUI, Joliet Police Officer charged with misdemeanor DUI in fatal crash that cost life of Berwyn Officer

Third update:  it appears that there was a chain reaction involving multiple vehicles.  According to the Sun-Times:

A man faces DUI charges in a crash Sunday on Interstate 55 that ultimately led to another collision, resulting in the death of a Berwyn police officer.

Rodrigo Marin, 42, is charged with two counts of aggravated DUI, leaving the scene of an accident, failure to render aid, driving without valid insurance and driving on a revoked license, according to Illinois State Police. He was also cited for failure to reduce speed and improper lane usage.

Marin was driving a 2006 Nissan Titan about 6 a.m. on I-55 when he lost control and crossed into another lane, striking the left side of a 2008 Hino Box truck driven by a 44-year-old man, state police said.

Both vehicles came to a stop in the right two lanes, and Marin allegedly ran off from the crash, state police said.

While the vehicles were blocking the lanes, a Dodge Durango slammed into the box truck, state police said.

Earlier stories focused on the driver of the vehicle in which the Berwyn officer was a passenger.  That driver is a Joliet police officer, who was charged with misdemeanor DUI.

From the Chicago Tribune:

A Joliet police officer faces drunken driving charges after a Berwyn police officer who was a passenger in her car died in a crash Sunday morning on Interstate 55 in Plainfield Township, officials said.

Charles “Chuck” Schauer, 33, who died as a result of the crash around 6 a.m., had been a 10-year veteran of the Berwyn Police Department, according to a statement from the agency. Berwyn Mayor Robert Lovero announced Schauer’s death in a post on social media, referring to his death as a “tragic traffic accident.”

“Please keep Officer Schauer’s family and friends, as well as all Berwyn police officers in your thoughts and prayers during this time of grief,” he wrote.

Erin Zilka, 35, of Plainfield, faces a charge of driving under the influence, according to Illinois State police. Joliet police released a statement Monday saying that Zilka, “a 12-year veteran, was involved in an off-duty vehicle crash on I-55 near Route 30 where her passenger was tragically killed.”

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

Zilka’s attorney, Jeff Tomczak, said her blood-alcohol test came up under the legal limit, but declined to specify the number. He said Zilka was friends with Schauer, and was in “a really bad way.”

“She’s absolutely devastated to a degree I can’t express verbally,” Tomczak said.

He said Zilka “came upon” an earlier accident in a “darkened” part of the road before crashing.

Zilka has been an officer with Joliet police for 6 years, and had served in Shorewood for another 6 years, Tomczak said. He said she is due in court March 18.

Zilka, of Plainfield, was also cited for driving too fast for conditions, state police said.

Gov. Pritzker signs into law bill to end license suspensions for unpaid parking tickets

From the Chicago Tribune:

Illinois will no longer suspend the licenses of drivers who fail to pay parking tickets and other fines beginning July 1 under a measure Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law Friday.

The secretary of state’s office also will reinstate the driving privileges of roughly 55,000 people who’ve had their licenses suspended over unpaid fines and fees unrelated to moving violations.

“Right now, tens of thousands of Illinoisans lose their licenses each year for reasons that have nothing to do with their ability to drive,” Pritzker said at a bill-signing event in Chicago’s Homan Square neighborhood.

Harold Wallin rated as one of Chicago’s Top DUI Defense Attorneys

I received this certificate from Three Best Rated, confirming that I have been listed once again as one of Chicago’s Three Best Rated DUI defense attorneys.  Thank you!

3BestRated 2020 certificate

Dina Lohan arrested for DUI after crash

From the Mercury News:

Dina Lohan, the mother of actress Lindsay Lohan, was arrested Saturday evening on Long Island after she hit a car outside an Outback Steakhouse and was chased back to her house by the other driver.

According to online court records in Nassau County, Lohan, 57, was charged with driving while intoxicated, leaving the scene of an accident, operating an unregistered vehicle, operating an uninspected vehicle, driving without a license, and aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle in the 3rd degree.

She pleaded not guilty to all charges at her arraignment Sunday and has returned home, according to her attorney, Mark Jay Heller.

“She never had a sobriety test, and we take the position that they are not going to be able to establish that she was driving while intoxicated,” Heller said.

He confirmed she hit another car while leaving the steakhouse in the town of Merrick around 7 p.m. Saturday, but said “there was no real damage.”

Lohan did not stop after the accident. The man whose car she hit followed her to her house in the next town, North Merrick.

When police showed up, Lohan allegedly refused to get out of her car and, when she finally did, fell to the ground, TMZ reported. She then claimed to have had just one glass of wine and refused to take a breath test.

Lohan pleaded guilty to drunken driving and speeding charges in 2014. Because of that conviction, the current charge would be a felony.

Driving Instructor nearly 4 times legal limit strikes High School Principal during lesson

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

A Germantown driver’s education instructor was arrested for driving drunk while giving a driving lesson Jan. 6.

During the lesson, instructor Corey J. Malone backed into a swinging metal gate, which then struck high school principal Joel Farren, according to Germantown police.

Police found Malone in the office of Just Drive driver’s education office in Germantown, where he was arrested.

Malone was cited for OWI and driving with a prohibited alcohol content, according to the police report. A preliminary breath test indicated his blood alcohol content was over 0.32, more than four times the legal limit.

Farren suffered only minor injuries in the incident. A student who was in the car with Malone was not injured.

Read the entire story here:  https://www.jsonline.com/story/communities/northwest/news/germantown/2020/01/10/germantown-driving-instructor-arrested-giving-driving-lesson-drunk/4424523002/

Illinois ranks 49th in nation in DUI arrest rates, arrests down 30% over last 10 years

According to a new study by US Drug Test Centers, Illinois now ranks 49th in the nation in terms of DUI arrest by population.  Also, the total DUI arrest rate has dropped over 30% in the last 10 years.

However, it is unclear whether that drop has come because of lax traffic enforcement or alternatively, because less people are driving drunk due to tougher DUI laws.  Or it might be some other factor such as the rise of UBER and LYFT.  Most of the states in the top ten of DUI arrest rate by population (both Dakotas, Wyoming and Alaska for example) are spread out and don’t have much public transportation.  In a denser state like Illinois, it is a lot easier for a person to  walk, bike, use public transportation, a cab or ride-sharing to get back home after a night out drinking.  Overall, DUI arrests have fallen by 35% across the United States, so the drop in Illinois isn’t especially remarkable.

From the Patch:

A well-established national drug testing company recently published a comprehensive ranking of the states according to the rates of drunken driving, and Illinois finished near the bottom of the list.

The findings were based on information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of Transportation and FBI crime reports.

Illinois ranked 49 overall for drunken driving rates in 2018, with 98.6 DUI-related arrests per 100,000 people.

Other metrics cited in the report showed our state has:

  • Short-term rate change in DUI arrest rate: -22.4 percent change from 2014-2018
  • Long-term rate change in DUI arrest rate: -30.3 percent change from 2009-2018

In the 10-year span from 2009 to 2018, Illinois peaked in 2012 with 146.54 arrests for every 100,000 people.

The United States overall has seen the population-adjusted rate of drunken driving arrests fall by more than 35 percent since 2009. Only three states — Delaware, Washington and North Dakota — recorded an increase in DUI arrests from 2009 to 2018.