Police Departments will be out in force for the Holidays

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From CBS local:

Police and sheriff’s departments across Illinois are stepping up patrols to try to reduce alcohol- and drug-related crashes this holiday season.

The Illinois Department of Transportation and Illinois State Police say the stepped up enforcement started this week and will continue through Jan. 2. It will be in effect at all hours, with heightened efforts in the evening.

The efforts will include DUI and distracted driving patrols as well as roadside safety checks and seatbelt enforcement zones.

Illinois is experiencing its second straight year of more than 1,000 motor vehicle deaths. Last year 1,078 people died in vehicle crashes on Illinois roads.

Illinois State Police Director Leo P. Schmitz is urging anyone who sees an unsafe driver to call 911 and report them.

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From the Chicago Tribune:

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office has announced that an increased traffic enforcement program for the holiday season will begin Monday and run through Jan. 2.

The “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” traffic safety enforcement campaign will focus on impaired driving and other violations, officials said.

“Beginning Monday, Dec. 18 and continuing into 2018, motorists will see increased traffic safety enforcement,” Sheriff Mark Curran said in a release. “Deputies will focus on those driving impaired, distracted, or without a seat belt. If you plan to drink, plan for a safe ride home.”

Curran said those drinking should have incentives not to drive, and a plan to avoid doing so.

“Today, there are more transportation options than ever. Find one you’re comfortable with and use it,” he said.

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And from the Oak Lawn Patch:

The Oak Lawn Police Department has stepped up DUI patrols from now through the early morning hours of Jan. 2 to keep drivers and passengers safe as they search for alcohol and drug impaired drivers. Residents and those motoring through the village will notice an enhanced police presence on the streets, , as part of the year-end Driver Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement. Officers will also be looking for drivers and passengers who aren’t buckled up.

According to Sgt. M. Acke, 37,461 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes in the United States. Of those killed, 28 percent (10,497) died in crashes in which a driver had a blood-alcohol concentration over the limit of 0.08. Other nearby towns that have announced DUI patrols including Palos Park, Palos Heights and Orland Park.

“We are committed to doing whatever it takes to help save lives by keeping impaired drivers off the road,” Acke said.

You get the idea.

So, please, have a safe, happy (and arrest-free) holiday.

Country music singer Michael Ray arrested for DUI after rear-ending car in drive-thru

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From the New York Daily News:

Country singer Michael Ray was arrested Wednesday morning for driving while intoxicated and possession of marijuana after a fast-food fender-bender.

The “Kiss You in the Morning” singer, 29, was in a McDonald’s drive-thru in Eustis, Fla., when he told cops his foot slipped off the pedal of his Jeep Wrangler and rear-ended the car in front of him, according to a police report obtained by the Daily News.

When cops arrived, they noticed the singer’s eyes were bloodshot and he was slurring his speech.

Ray informed them he had come from a bar, and subsequently failed several field sobriety tests, the arresting officer said in the report.

During a search, cops found weed oil in Ray’s pocket, and arrested him for DUI and possession of marijuana around 3 a.m.

He was released from the Lake County Jail around 1 p.m. Wednesday after being held on a $6,000 bond.

Woman arrested for impersonating an attorney in a DUI case

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From the Western Springs Patch:

A North Riverside woman said to be a paralegal with an a “reputable law firm,” is accused of impersonating an attorney in a DUI case. Patricia Castrillon, 42, appeared before Cook County Judge Peter Felice on a charge of false impersonation of an attorney. She appeared twice in the Bridgeview Courthouse representing a defendant in a DUI case, according to the charges.

The prosecutor said that on July 15, Castrillon appeared in the Bridgeview Courthouse before Cook County Judge Steven Rosenblum. Castrillon allegedly filed her appearance on behalf of a man charged with a DUI and asked for prosecutors to produce evidence in the case. She was back in court on Dec. 5, where she asked for a warrant to be vacated in the same DUI case, the prosecutor said. The assistant state’s attorney’s suspicions were aroused when some mail reportedly sent to her law firm was returned.

When asked to produce her card from the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission office, Castrillon told the court that it was at her law office, the prosecutor said. Her name also did not appear in a search of the ARDC website. Castrillon said she would have a colleague fax a copy of her ARDC card, however, as the court waited for the fax, Castrillion allegedly slipped out of the Bridgeview Courthouse. She was arrested on Dec. 13, the prosecutor said.

…According to court records Castrillon pleaded guilty to a theft charge in 2012. The prosecutor said she was also arrested in 1996 for using a fraudulent credit card in Texas. He asked for her case to be transferred to another district because a sitting judge and sheriff’s deputies were potential witnesses.

Carol Stream Police to begin using new Drugged Driving Detection test

The Carol Stream Police Department is about to begin trying out a new drugged driver detection device, called the PIA2, which is made by Protzek (I’ve never heard of them before, but you have to wonder about their accuracy when their materials misspell the word “saliva”).

From the Chicago Tribune:

…the device that Carol Stream police plan to test, called P.I.A.2 , gives measurements for the amount of drugs present.

That’s important, because while Illinois used to define impairment as having any amount of cannabis or other controlled substance in the body, last year lawmakers raised that minimum threshold to 5 nanograms per milliliter in the blood, and 10 ng/mL in other bodily fluids.

But the Illinois State Police crime laboratory is not certified to give such precise measurements, and local police agencies say it can take months to process a request. Therefore, police sometimes send samples to private labs, which can be quicker but also costlier.

That’s where the new field test comes in. For drivers who submit to a blood draw, Carol Stream police plan to ask them also to volunteer for the mouth swab, not for use in court, but simply to compare its accuracy to the lab test. The department plans to conduct at least 100 comparisons over the next year, beginning around March.

Testing devices can cost $3,000 to $6,000, but the manufacturer of the unit in question, a German company called Protzek, will provide it for free to the village. Officials claim its accuracy is comparable to state-of-the-art laboratory techniques.

Len Jonker, president of Judicial Testing Systems, the distributor for Protzek here, said he is in talks about supplying the device to other law enforcement agencies in Illinois as well.

The tests have been challenged in some state courts but have been upheld as a preliminary step to establish probable cause to make an arrest, according to the National District Attorneys Association.

Still, the tests cannot yet be used as conclusive evidence in court, and still require a blood draw for confirmation, the prosecutors reported.

Dan Linn, executive director of the marijuana advocacy group Illinois NORML, said he welcomes the test for accuracy.

“We advocate for legalizing cannabis, but that does not mean we advocate people driving impaired by cannabis,” he said. “The bigger question is, who is driving impaired, and who just has cannabis in their systems.”

Illinois law has zero tolerance for driving on controlled substances other than marijuana, meaning any amount is enough to convict someone of DUI.

Yet unlike alcohol, which has been shown to cause impairment at a blood alcohol level of 0.08, no numeric levels have been established to show impairment from various drugs, because their effects vary so widely from person to person, depending in part on the user’s tolerance.

That’s why Linn believes it’s better to have trained police officers try to assess from direct observations whether a driver is impaired.

Police and prosecutors agree, and for that reason call for more training of officers as drug recognition experts, or DREs. While the standard field sobriety test — where drivers are asked to walk in a straight line and turn around, stand on one leg and close their eyes and touch their nose — was designed primarily to detect the influence of alcohol, the DRE test uses more subtle signs to try to detect drugs.

Dilated or constricted pupils, incomplete or repetitive speech, tremors in the eyelids or hands, odors, high pulse or body temperature, nervousness or lack of inhibition may all be considered signs of impairment from various drugs.

Processing a DUI arrest is time-consuming, and the new law that set the cannabis intoxication standard on driving under the influence states that police must take a blood sample within two hours. Police say that’s often impractical or impossible, especially in rural areas far from a hospital.

That’s why interest is so high in finding a quick technological fix.

Read the entire story here:  http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/ct-met-police-drug-driving-test-20171205-story.html

 

DUI suspect dances on car, tries to escape on child’s scooter

From U.S. News:

Police say a Nevada woman was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving after she drove down a highway the wrong way, danced atop her SUV and attempted to flee from officers on a kid’s scooter.

Police in the city of Sparks answered a call Saturday for a wrong-way driver and found 27-year-old Sabra Bewley’s Jeep Cherokee some 20 yards up a hill off a highway.

Officers said Bewley was acting erratically and dancing on top of the Cherokee before attempting to get away on a kid’s scooter.

Police detained Bewley and took her to a hospital before she was booked into the Washoe County jail.

She was arrested on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance, trafficking MDMA, destruction of property and resisting arrest.