In a new Illinois Appellate Court opinion (People v. Ernsting, 2018 IL App (5th) 160330), the Court affirmed a trial Court’s ruling that a breath test result was inadmissible due to the motorist bleeding inside her mouth.
According to the opinion, the motorist claimed that after having three beers with dinner, she went for a ride with her 85 pound dog. During the ride, the dog was unruly, and was licking her face and obstructing her view. As a result, the defendant crashed her car.
She testified that before taking the breath test, she was bleeding from her mouth. The arresting officer did not check her mouth, in violation of the Illinois Administrative Code rule for breath alcohol testing, which requires that the breath test operator observe the subject for 20 minutes prior to the test, to ensure that there is no foreign substances in her mouth. The Court found that blood is a foreign substance.
The Court also heard testimony from Ronald Henson, PhD., a breath test expert (who I have used in a few DUI cases and one civil case in the past). Dr. Henson testified that blood in a subject’s mouth is a “foreign substance” and would elevate their BAC result and make the test unreliable. This was supported by Henson’s opinion that the defendant did not appear to be intoxicated on the arrest video. He also pointed to mistakes that the officer made in administering the breath test.
Due to these errors, the Defendant’s breath test of 0.215 was suppressed from evidence at her trial and her statutory summary suspension was rescinded.
From the Chicago Tribune:
A Montgomery woman faces felony charges for what police say is her sixth drunken driving offense.
Leah Behrens, 33, of the first block of Chatham Place, Montgomery, was charged with felony drunken driving, felony obstructing justice, felony driving on a revoked license and other misdemeanor and traffic violations in connection with two crashes on Feb. 6 that took place about five minutes apart.
In the first crash, about 6:45 p.m. Feb. 6, the 2002 Mitsubishi Gallant Behrens was driving struck two cars stopped at the light at Lake Street and Illinois Avenue, Aurora police said in a Facebook post. One car, a 2000 Honda Civic, was driven by a 23-year-old Aurora man, and the other, a 2005 Saturn Vue, was driven by a 27-year-old Glendale Heights man with a 25-year-old woman as passenger. All three declined medical attention, police said.
Behrens did not stop, police said. About 6:40 p.m., less than three miles away, she was southbound on Broadway and tried to turn left onto Hazel, police said. She drove in front of a northbound 2011 GMC Sierra pickup truck a 36-year-old Plano man was driving with his three sons, ages 4, 12 and 14, causing a crash, according to police. They also did not require medical attention, police said.
“The second crash happened to occur near a restaurant where a couple of Aurora police officers were eating dinner,” police stated.
Another patron told them about the crash, and they went to investigate, police said. They found Behrens outside of her car, “displaying obvious signs of intoxication,” police said.
Police said Behrens was treated and released from an Aurora hospital, and was later taken to another Aurora hospital for a court-ordered blood and urine draw. She refused to cooperate, leading to the obstructing justice charge, police said. Kane County prosecutors authorized the felony charges.
A sixth DUI is a Class X felony, punishable from 6 to 30 years in prison.
From the Indianapolis Star:
Indianapolis Colts player Edwin Jackson and an Uber driver were both killed early Sunday after being struck by a suspected drunken driver along Interstate 70.
According to the Indiana State Police, the crash happened shortly before 4 a.m. Sunday along the westbound lanes of I-70, just west of Holt Road.
Police said Jackson and 54-year-old Jeffrey Monroe of Avon were standing near a stopped vehicle when a black Ford F-150 pickup truck drove onto the emergency shoulder and struck them both.
The driver accused of killing Indianapolis Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson and Uber driver Jeffrey Monroe was an undocumented immigrant who used a fake name and has been deported twice in the past.
Indiana State Police detectives have determined the driver was 37-year-old Manuel Orrego-Savala, a citizen of Guatemala. He gave police the alias Alex Cabrera Gonsales after the early Sunday crash that killed Jackson and Monroe.
Officials said he had been deported in 2007 and in 2009
Read the entire story here: https://www.indystar.com/story/news/crime/2018/02/04/suspected-drunken-driver-kills-2-70/304726002/
I am writing this post because I recently got this question.
Under Illinois’s concealed carry law 430 ILCS 66/70(d) :
A licensee shall not carry a concealed firearm while under the influence of alcohol,
other drug or drugs, intoxicating compound or combination of compounds, or any
combination thereof, under the standards set forth in subsection (a) of
Section 11-501 of the Illinois Vehicle Code.
A licensee in violation of this subsection (d) shall be guilty of a Class
A misdemeanor for a first or second violation and a Class 4 felony for a
third violation. The Department may suspend a license for up to 6
months for a second violation and shall permanently revoke a license for
a third violation.
Pretty straightforward, isn’t it?
For the last four years, the rating site “ThreeBestRated” has put out its list of the Top Three DWI (DUI) Lawyers in Chicago. And for the fourth year, Harold L. Wallin has made the list. He is the only attorney who has made the list each year.
According to their website, the ratings are based on their “50-Point Inspection [which] includes everything from checking reputation, history, complaints, reviews, satisfaction, trust and cost to the general excellence.”