Sixth DUI gets woman 13 years in prison

bookman

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

A woman was sentenced Thursday to 13 years in prison after she pleaded guilty to her fifth and sixth charges of DUI in northwest suburban Elgin.

Cheri L. Bookman, 48, who is homeless, pleaded guilty to Associate Judge David Kliment to two counts of aggravated DUI, one a Class X felony and one a Class 1 felony, according to a statement from the Kane County state’s attorney’s office.

On Jan. 4, 2015, Bookman crashed her vehicle into another vehicle in the 1500 block of Mark Avenue in Elgin and the driver of the other vehicle noticed that she seemed intoxicated, prosecutors said. She then left the scene and the other driver called 911.

When Bookman was later approached by Elgin police at a home where she was staying she was drinking vodka and admitted that she had been drinking vodka all day, prosecutors said.

The other driver identified Bookman and she was subsequently charged with DUI, prosecutors said. She was released on bond after serving one day in jail.

On Aug. 2, 2015, officers spotted Bookman driving the wrong way on Chicago Street, a one-way street, prosecutors said. When she was stopped, the officer smelled alcohol on her breath.

When the officer returned to his vehicle in an effort to get more information on Bookman, she sped away and eventually crashed into a guardrail at Chicago and State streets, prosecutors said. She then crawled through the passenger-side window and ran into a wooded area.

The officers found her and she was charged with DUI, prosecutors said. Her blood-alcohol content was .247.

Bookman’s four prior DUI charges were twice in 2001, once in 2002 and once in 2008 in Jefferson and Cook counties, prosecutors said.

A sixth DUI is a Class X felony in Illinois, punishable from 6 to 30 years.

Illinois Secretary of State White says 0.05 BAC law needs further study

From the Sun-Times:

Secretary of State Jesse White believes the idea of reducing Illinois’ drunk-driving threshold merits “further study,” his office confirmed Tuesday after a federal agency recommended all states scrap their .08 DUI standards.

The National Transportation Safety Board urged all 50 states to lower their drunk-driving limits by nearly half from .08 blood-alcohol content to .05 blood-alcohol content.

“It’s an issue that needs further study. We commend them for looking into this and the work they’ve done. But we feel at this point, it needs more study to go to .05,” White spokesman Dave Druker told the Chicago Sun-Times.

Druker said White was not prepared to move any kind of legislative package in the dwindling days of the spring legislative session and that his senior staff would delve more deeply into the NTSB’s findings.

A 180-pound man could drink no more than two 12-ounce servings of light beer in an hour to stay below a .05 blood-alcohol content, according to an online blood-alcohol calculator maintained by the University of Oklahoma.

Under the existing .08 law, that same person could drink four 12-ounce servings of light beer to remain below the drunk-driving limit, the university calculator showed.

When asked whether the secretary of state’s office has a concern about how those tighter standards would could make it impossible for Illinoisans to drink alcohol at weddings, anniversaries or Super Bowl parties and still drive legally, Druker said, “It’s an issue.”

But Druker cautioned that White had not formulated a position on the NTSB recommendations.

“I don’t think we’ve thought it through to that extent. We just heard about the report today,” Druker said.

Illinois has had a .08 blood-alcohol standard since 1997, when then-Secretary of State George Ryan successfully pushed the change through the General Assembly. Previously, the state’s drunk-driving limit stood at .10 blood-alcohol content.

Actor who voices Squidward on SpongeBob arrested for DUI

bumpass

From People Magazine:

SpongeBob SquarePants Actor Rodger Bumpass was arrested for an alleged DUI Friday evening, PEOPLE has confirmed.

Law enforcement records show the star, who voices Squidward on the show, was arrested in Burbank, California shortly before midnight Friday and held on $15,000 bail. Bumpass, 64, spent the night in jail and was released shortly after 7:30 a.m. Saturday after posting his bail.

A Burbank Police Department spokesperson tells PEOPLE Bumpass was leaning against his car, which was stopped in the middle of the street, when police discovered him. The actor admitted he had been driving before police discovered him. TMZ first reported the news.

No court date has been set.

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.