Kane County to hold “No Refusal” DUI Enforcement Wednesday Nov. 27

From the Daily Herald:

Kane County prosecutors will work with police to hold a No Refusal DUI event on Nov. 27, also known as “Black Wednesday” and one of the biggest party days of the year.

State’s Attorney Joe McMahon said this will be the sixth patrol held the day before Thanksgiving. The goal is not to make arrests, he said, but to encourage people to take alternative transportation if out celebrating…

A No Refusal is different from a roadside safety checkpoint at which police pull over selected vehicles to look for equipment and insurance violations or impaired drivers.

In No Refusal, prosecutors fan out across the county to work with police departments to prepare a search warrant for drivers arrested on charges of DUI who refuse to take a breath or chemical test.

The search warrant is taken to a judge for approval for a phlebotomist to take a blood sample. If the arrestee still refuses, a sample can be forcibly taken or the motorist charged with felony obstruction of justice, which is more severe that the DUI charge.

Country singer Sam Hunt arrested for DUI

From CNN:

Country singer Sam Hunt was arrested early Thursday for allegedly driving under the influence, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by CNN.

Hunt, who’s known for such country hits as “Body Like a Back Road” and “Drinkin’ Too Much,” was stopped by police in East Nashville, Tennessee, after he was observed driving the wrong way down a road.
According to the affidavit, authorities had been on the lookout for a reported driver going south in the northbound lanes in the area of Ellington Parkway near Ben Allen Road.
Police said Hunt, whose legal name is Samuel L. Hunt, had difficulty “staying in the lane of travel and crossed the center divide several times before a stop was initiated.”
There was an obvious odor consistent with alcoholic beverage coming from the defendant as well as red bloodshot and watery eyes,” the report said. “There were two empty beers in the vehicle next to the driver. The defendant had difficulty retrieving his id and attempted to give a credit card and passport instead while his [Tennessee] driver license sat on his lap.”
Hunt, 34, was the only person in the vehicle at the time of the stop and admitted to consuming alcohol recently, the affidavit stated.
The singer submitted to a sobriety test, which was recorded on a police dashcam, and according to the warrant Hunt had a blood alcohol content of .173.
He was arrested and subsequently released from jail Thursday on a $2,500 bond, according to online court records. A court date has been set for January 17.

On the 25th Anniversary of my being sworn in as a Lawyer

25 years ago today, I was officially sworn in as an attorney. At the time, I was told that the practice of law is not a job, it is a profession. I took that to heart and have tried to live up to that every day.

A few thoughts:

First of all, I love being a trial attorney and being able to get good results for my clients. Two weeks ago, I won a difficult case and afterwards, in the hallway, I received a big hug from my client. The day before, I won a suspension hearing for another client, a fellow attorney. Representing an attorney is a lot of added pressure but that also means extra satisfaction if you win. You don’t get these types of thrills writing a well-designed estate plan.

Still, I get as much if not more fulfillment from my other professional duties and volunteer work. This week I judged a collegiate moot court competition at Loyola (Last month, I judged a similar competition at the University of Chicago). I am always amazed at the skill and ability of these young advocates. I also trained 50 new investigators who have volunteered with the Chicago Bar Association’s Judicial Evaluation Committee. Currently, I am co-chair of its Investigation Division. So far this year we have evaluated approximately 200 judicial candidates or judges seeking retention, and we are about to begin work on the rest of the field who did not seek early Cook County Democratic Party slating. Each year, members of our committee volunteer thousands of hours to investigate candidates in order to provide the voters with fair, unbiased and thorough ratings.  I am proud to say that the CBA ratings are widely considered to be the paragon of judicial ratings.

Finally, being an attorney means being part of a community. This week, one attorney took me out to lunch to “pick my brain” about how to handle a Motion to Suppress. Another attorney, who used to be a fierce adversary when he was a State’s Attorney, called me up for advice about Daley Center procedures and I ended up stepping up for him in court.

This is not one-sided. I ask for, and get, help and advice too. Last week, an attorney in Springfield helped me with a client who had a Secretary of State issue, and two Chicago attorneys helped me navigate a personal injury settlement that became complicated when my client suddenly passed away, post-settlement, without having signed a release.

So in summary, I would say to young attorneys:  be a zealous advocate, but also civil and cordial, and be active in our legal community.  You will find it rewarding.

 

State Troopers have written 8 times as many Scott’s Law violation so far in 2019 as in all of 2018

Illinois’ “Scott’s Law” requires that when approaching a vehicle displaying flashing lights, a driver move over (if reasonably possible) or slow down.  After several major accidents involving death and/or serious injury to State Troopers, they are fighting back with stepped-up enforcement of the law throughout the entire state.

The numbers are coming in, and they show that:

Eight times as many Scott’s Law violation citations have been written so far in 2019 when compared to last year, according to Illinois State Police.

From January 1, 2019 through November 3, 2019, there were 5,860 tickets written.

During the same period in 2018, 728 citations were handed out.

Read the entire story here:  https://wqad.com/2019/11/04/illinois-state-police-see-major-spike-in-scotts-law-violation-citations/

NY Times article questions reliability and validity of breath testing devices

Read the full article here:  https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/03/business/drunk-driving-breathalyzer.html

Before you call me to complain that your conviction should be thrown out, I have to point out that none of the devices mentioned in this article are approved for evidentiary use in Illinois.

Man Charged with DUI after crashing into Crystal Lake Church

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

A man faces DUI charges after allegedly driving through the wall of an unoccupied church Thursday in northwest suburban Crystal Lake.

Daniel Lang, 41, of Lake in the Hills, is charged with two counts of misdemeanor driving under the influence and a misdemeanor count of failing to give information after striking unattended property, Crystal Lake police said in a statement.

About 12:18 a.m., officers were called to a report of a vehicle that crashed into Living Waters Lutheran Church, 1808 Miller Rd., police said.

They arrived and found a vehicle that had driven off the roadway and through a brick wall of the church, police said. Both the vehicle and church were unoccupied.

A witness told investigators the driver, the sole occupant, walked away from the area, police said. Officers found Lang about 30 minutes later in the 1600 block of Autumncrest Drive. He refused medical treatment and was arrested.

In addition to the charges, Lang was cited for failure to reduce speed to avoid a crash and disobeying a stop sign, police said. He posted bail and was released from custody.

Actor Henry Thomas from ET arrested for DUI

From the Chicago Tribune:

Authorities say Henry Thomas, the actor who starred as a child in “E.T. the Extra Terrestrial,” has been arrested for driving under the influence in Oregon.

The 48-year-old Thomas was booked into the Washington County Jail and faces the misdemeanor charge after police said they found him Monday in a stationary car.

Thomas played Elliott, the young boy who befriends an alien in the classic 1982 movie. He has also appeared in “Gangs of New York” and “Legends of the Fall.”…

KGW reports the Tualatin Police Department said they received a call about a car that wasn’t moving.

Police say officers arrived, found Thomas and took him into custody after a field sobriety test.