Former Bear, Bill Ruben Brown arrested for DWI

Former Chicago Bear and Buffalo Bill offensive lineman Ruben Brown was charged with DWI last Friday in Hamburg, New York after he rear-ended another vehicle.  He refused to submit to a breath alcohol test.

According to the local television station’s website, WKBW.com:

The Hamburg Police Department confirms former Buffalo Bills player, 40-year-old Ruben Brown, was arrested and charged with DWI, following too close, and imprudent speed.

The accident happened Friday night on Abbott Road near Richmond Avenue in Hamburg.

Brown rear ended a vehicle, in what was determined as only a two car accident, no passengers in either car. Brown was not injured and refused a breathalyzer test for alcohol.

The driver of the other vehicle sustained minor injuries.

Brown later tweeted this “@Ruben7974: I have to apologize to everyone. I will have to work hard to regain the respect you gave me. Thankful everyone is alive.”

Expect DUI Roadblocks this weekend

The Chicago Police have announced two DUI roadside safety checks this weekend:

  1. The Chicago Police Department will conduct a Roadside Safety Check in the Calumet (005th) District at 11800 S. Halsted. The Roadside Safety Check will commence at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, September 28, 2012 and end at 4:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 29, 2012.
    During roadside safety checks, police officers slow down traffic, stop cars at regular intervals and watch for drivers who show signs of alcohol impairment and other violations.
  2. The Chicago Police Department will conduct a DUI Strike Force Patrol in the Albany Park (017th) District. The DUI Strike Force Patrol will commence at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 29, 2012 and end at 4:00 a.m. on Sunday, September 30, 2012.

Of course, you can expect roadside safety checks throughout the region, so please do not drink and drive!

 

Chicago Bar Association Judicial Evaluations are now available for upcoming election

Earlier this week, I posted that the Illinois State Bar Association had released its Judicial evaluations for the upcoming election.  Now, the Chicago Bar Association (“CBA”) has published its findings.

I am a member of the CBA’s Judicial Evaluation Committee, and I can tell you that for each judicial candidate, an investigation is conducted, in which we try to reach as many attorneys who have appeared in front of the judge (if already on the bench) or have tried cases against him or her (if not yet on the bench), along with many other personal references, former co-workers and colleagues.  After that, we review the Candidate’s paper trail, including any ethics complaints, lawsuits against him or her, writings, appellate court citations and references in newspapers or other other media.  Finally, we meet with the Candidate to take the person’s measure and ask questions about his or her approach to the bench.  So, in other words, we try to do a good job so that the public has all the information it needs to know to make an informed decision.

Here are the links:

View the CBA’s complete findings in the Green Guide to Judicial Candidates.

 View a two-page, printable Pocket Guide (take this quick guide with you to vote).

 Get the Pocket Guide on your smart phone at http://m.chicagobar.org/.

US Supreme Court to review involuntary, warrantless blood draws in DUI cases

Over the last few years, a new trend in DUI enforcement has been the concept of the “no refusal.”  Basically, the police will use force to obtain a blood draw from a motorist who is refusing to consent to a breath test.

This has been done in different ways.  Through a warrant, an emergency court order, or by simply holding the motorist down and drawing blood.

Illinois courts have stated that while defendants do not have a right to refuse a test, the police cannot use excessive force to draw blood from the individual.  People v. Jones, 214 Ill.2d 187 and People v. Farris, 2012 IL App (3d) 100199.

Police and prosecutors seek to justify these blood draws under the grounds that blood alcohol evidence is the strongest evidence of intoxication, and that because alcohol eliminates from the blood rapidly, it must be drawn soon after the arrest.

Today the United States Supreme Court announced that it would be hearing a case from Missouri where a police officer took a recalcitrant motorist to a hospital and had his blood drawn.  The Missouri courts suppressed the blood test, because it was taken without a warrant or a showing of “exigent circumstances.”

If the Supreme Court overturns the Missouri decision, then police will be authorized to drag anyone they suspect of driving while intoxicated to a facility where their blood can be drawn.  This strikes me as a very serious infringement on our liberty.

It is not clear to me how the court will rule.  The stereotypical assumptions that certain Justices are “liberal” or “conservative” do not apply in a case like this, which scrambles competing values such as the state’s need for evidence and to protect the public from drunk drivers versus a person’s right to bodily integrity, a person’s right to be free from unreasonable search and seizures, and one’s right to avoid self-incrimination.

 

ISBA Judicial Evaluations are out for the upcoming election

The Illinois Bar Association has released its Judicial evaluations for the upcoming Cook County Judicial elections and retention ballot.  Once a judge has been elected, he or she will serve a six year term, which will be renewed for another six years so long as they receive at least 60% of the vote for retention.

As a voter, it is important to be informed about our judges.  Today, this list may just be a bunch of names to you.  But if your divorce, personal injury case, business dispute, foreclosure, DUI or other case is before that judge, you will hope and pray that the voters selected someone who is wise, fair, honest, intelligent, has a good temperament, and is knowledgeable about the law and people.  Hope and prayer are fine, but I would prefer an informed electorate.

Here are the links:

Some basics about entering Canada with a DUI on your background

Over at my official website, I have posted about what to do if you have a DUI arrest on your record and you plan to enter (or even stop over) in Canada. Yes, I said arrest, not conviction.

Short version: be prepared, by obtaining official court documentation of your case, and try to get your Canadian “seal of approval” in advance.

The good news is that Canada is getting less restrictive, but it is still a major hassle.

Here is the link to the story: http://www.illinoisduilawyer.com/il-dui-lawyer/oh-canada-entering-canada-with-a-dui-on-your-background

Update: Mark Grace charged with aggravated DUI

This is an update to my previous post about former Cub first baseman Mark Grace, who was arrested last month for his second DUI in 15 months.

It has been reported that the charges against Grace will be upgraded to aggravated DUI, a felony, because Grace’s driver’s license had been suspended because of the prior DUI arrest at the time of the new arrest, and he was only permitted to drive with a vehicle equipped with a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID).  When he was arrested, Grace was not driving a vehicle equipped with such a device.

According to reports, Grace had a BAC of 0.095, slightly above the legal limit of 0.08.

From looking at some Arizona legal websites (here and here), it appears that if Grace is found guilty of the charge, he is facing a mandatory minimum of four months in prison, and a maximum sentence of 3.75 years in prison.  he would also be placed on a period of probation including mandatory urinalysis.  In addition, his driver’s license will be revoked for at least three years.

Since this charge carries mandatory jail or prison time, and it is occurring in Maricopa County, I am wondering if Grace will wind up in Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s jail, wearing pink underwear and living in a tent?  Time will tell.