Lee County’s State’s Attorney given supervision for DUI

sacco miller

From Quad Cities Channel 8:

After her arrest and a leave of absence from work, Lee County State’s Attorney Anna Sacco-Miller was sentenced to a fine and two years of probation* for driving while intoxicated.

Sacco-Miller was arrested after her vehicle collided with an unoccupied parked vehicle in Dixon, Illinois shortly after 7 a.m. Sunday, November 15, 2015, according to police.  She was was charged with DUI, DUI with a blood alcohol content over .08, and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

Sacco-Miller said she was coming home from a night out with friends and had fallen asleep at the wheel, before hitting the parked car. She said a breathalyzer test revealed she had a blood alcohol content of .10 percent.

The day after the incident, Sacco-Miller issued a public apology.

She then took a leave of absence for in-patient treatment, and vowed at that time she would not run for re-election.

Court records showed Sacco-Miller pleaded guilty to DUI and driving with a blood alcohol content over .08; and that she paid $2,417.00 to the court after she was sentenced January 15, 2016.  In addition to the fine, she was sentenced to two years of court supervision.

Sacco-Miller has not resigned from her position as Lee County State’s Attorney.

* Please note that although this story uses the term “probation” as interchangeable with “supervision” in fact, supervision is a special type of sentence in Illinois, in which the judge defers a final sentence and puts the offender on a period of supervision,  with conditions on the defendant during this period, and so long as he or she successfully completes all the conditions and does not commit a new criminal violation, at the termination of the period of supervision the case is dismissed.  This sentence is only allowed for first time DUI offenders.  The article does not mention whether Sacco-Miller will have to serve her six month license suspension for failing the breath test.

Tribune story paints an inaccurate picture of new IL DUI laws

Today’s online Chicago Tribune has a story entitled “New State Rules for accused, convicted drunken drivers takes effect,” which, like way too many stories about DUIs, paints an inaccurate portrait about DUI laws.

Here is a typical quote:  “With the unanimous support of lawmakers, Illinois is doing away with the mandatory suspensions for most first-time and repeat offenders, although drivers still will have to apply for special permits and pay for the devices and monitoring, which typically cost more than $100 a month combined.”

No, Illinois is NOT doing away with mandatory suspensions.

If you get arrested for a DUI, and either fail a breath, blood or urine test (say, by having 0.08 blood alcohol or greater or any amount of a narcotic) or refuse a test, your license will be suspended.

And if you get caught driving illegally during that suspension, you will face jail time and vehicle forfeiture.

What will change is that if you are a first offender, you will be eligible to obtain a “Monitored Device Driving Permit” requiring you to drive with an ignition interlock system, during the entirety of that suspension.  And if you are not a first offender, you will be able to apply for a Restricted Driving Permit through the Secretary of State once your case has been resolved, and you have completed alcohol treatment.

One important distinction between the permits available to first offenders and repeat offenders is that the first offender permit is (generally) available for the asking; whereas the repeat offender permit can only be obtained after a hearing has been held at the Secretary of State and you have been able to prove, to the Secretary’s satisfaction, that you will be a safe and responsible driver.  If you can meet that hurdle, then you must drive for five continuous years with the BAIID equipped permit before becoming eligible for full reinstatement.

There is another section of the article which discusses new rules for persons convicted of “multiple convictions” of DUI which are actually new rules for people with four or more convictions.  Those people, who have been ineligible for any driving relief since 1999, will now be able to apply for limited relief:  a Restricted Driving Permit, but only after it has been at least five years since their last DUI or release from prison, and if they can demonstrate that he or she is no long a danger to the public, has completed alcohol treatment, been abstinent for three years, and has been actively attending a support group such as A.A.