Cook County in talks to close two branch courts

The Chicago Tribune is reporting that Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Chief Judge Timothy Evans have reached an agreement to close the branch courthouses at Belmont and Western and at 51st Street by September.  Both branch courthouses have two courtrooms apiece, one that handles felony preliminary hearings and one that handles misdemeanors.  The cases will be moved to other courthouses.

Romeoville Mayor allegedly made threatening statements during DUI booking

From the Chicago Tribune:

As the mayor of Romeoville was being booked on suspicion of driving under the influence, he told the local police chief, “I’m coming for you,” and told two other officers, “You’re done,” according to a police report released late Monday.

Mayor John Noak, who was cited for alleged DUI hours after delivering his State of the Village speech on April 12, made the statements after asking whether the area of the police station he was standing in was being recorded, the report states.

“Due to Noak’s tone of voice and his body language I took his statement to me as hostile and threatening,” one officer wrote in the report.

Read the entire story here:

Britni from MTV’s The Challenge arrested for DUI


From TMZ:

MTV star Britni Thornton was arrested for a DUI, but based on her mug shot … she ain’t even mad.

“The Challenge” contestant was busted in Georgia Saturday night around 10 PM and taken to the Columbia County jail, where she was booked for driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs and failure to maintain lane … according to the report.

Britni’s all smiles in her mug shot, though … and was released after posting a $1,100 bond.

Elgin Police Officer charged with off-duty DUI

From the Chicago Tribune:

An Elgin police officer is hospitalized in critical condition following an off-duty motorcycle crash Thursday in which he was charged with drunken driving, according to the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office.

Kenneth W. Ericson, 49, of the 300 block of Cassidy Lane, Elgin, was driving a 2013 Kawasaki motorcycle eastbound on Baseline Road, near Glidden Road, just after 3 p.m. when he failed to yield at a stop sign and collided with a 2009 Toyota Camry driven by Mark A. Sparacino, of Rochelle, a sheriff’s office release said.

Ericson was airlifted to OSF St. Anthony Medical Center in Rockford by Lifeline Helicopter. Sparacino was uninjured in the crash, according to the report.

Ericson was charged with driving under the influence and failure to yield, according to the report.

Romeoville Mayor arrested for DUI

From the Chicago Tribune:

Hours after he delivered his annual State of the Village speech, Romeoville Mayor John Noak was arrested Thursday and charged with driving under the influence, village officials said.

According to a news release from the Police Department, police were called at 5:46 p.m. regarding a possible intoxicated driver driving west on Belmont Avenue. A short time after the call, police observed the vehicle driving west on Romeo Road just west of Belmont.

The officer stopped the vehicle, driven by Noak, and determined through a field sobriety test that Noak was driving under the influence, police said. Police could not provide Noak’s blood alcohol content. Noak refused to take a breath test or submit to a blood draw, Romeoville police Deputy Chief Steven Lucchesi said Friday.

Noak, who was elected in 2017 to his third term as mayor, was arrested and booked at the Romeoville Police Department, according to the news release. He posted his driver’s license and $100 as bond, Lucchesi said.

…Romeoville village manager Steve Gulden said Noak had delivered the State of the Village speech during a Romeoville Area Chamber of Commerce function at the Edward Hospital Athletic & Event Center, about a mile from where Noak was arrested.The event ran from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. and alcohol was served. Gulden said he didn’t know if Noak had alcoholic beverages at the event. Gulden declined further comment.

McHenry County Institutes “No Refusal” DUI Blood Draw Policy

From the Chicago Tribune:

Police in McHenry County will be out for blood with drivers who refuse to take breath tests for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Nine departments in the northwest suburban county announced they will seek immediate search warrants during traffic stops to draw blood from suspected drunken or drugged drivers who refuse to blow for a breath test.

The new policy is meant to counter drivers, particularly repeat DUI offenders, who increasingly refuse breath tests, which makes it more difficult to prosecute them, McHenry County State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally said in a news release.

Starting Sunday, police in Algonquin, Cary, Harvard, Huntley, Johnsburg, Lake in the Hills, McHenry, Spring Grove and Woodstock will institute the new policy.

Woodstock police Chief John Lieb said in the release that the policy will deter some people from driving while impaired.

While DUI suspects face severe civil penalties if they refuse a breath test — like driver’s license suspensions — police generally can’t force a suspect to submit to a blood test.

If the warrant is granted by a judge, the suspect will be taken to a nearby emergency room, where blood will be drawn and tested for alcohol and drugs.

The policy will be aided by an electronic warrant system launched last year, allowing police to generate an e-warrant that can be sent electronically to a judge for review. Officers can also communicate with a judge through teleconferencing and ultimately obtain a warrant through a judge’s electronic signature, if the judge agrees.

“The days of drunk drivers refusing to blow thinking that they can beat a DUI charge are coming to an end,” Kenneally said. “This new policy means that we’re going to ensure we have all the evidence we need to successfully prosecute drunk drivers every time.”

In addition to holding offenders accountable, Cary police Chief Patrick Finlon said in the release that the initiative “will create strong cases for the prosecution, thereby encouraging a defendant to seek plea negotiations, reducing the need for investigating officers to appear in court, and improving law enforcement patrol staffing.”

Plainfield High School “Road to Reality” April 25th to Scare You Straight About DUI

From the Plainfield Patch:

'Road To Reality' To Depict Horrors Of Drunk Driving

PLAINFIELD, IL –District 202’s sixth annual “Road to Reality” program will highlight the consequences of teen drunken driving paired with distracted driving. This unique, powerful event will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, April 25, at Plainfield North High School, 12005 S. 248th St. There is no admission fee and refreshments will be available.

All District 202 seventh- to 12th-graders and their parents or adult guardians are strongly encouraged to attend. The program is not recommended for children under age 10 due to its graphic nature.

Several prizes, including Chromebooks, headphones, high school parking passes and $50 discounts on drivers’ education fees will also be raffled.

All participants will “set out” on a journey at 15-minute intervals starting at 6 p.m. They will witness six scenes showing the fallout from drunk driving including a party; a car crash; a trip to the hospital; a coroner’s visit to deliver the tragic news; a bedroom filled with regret and a sentencing in a courtroom.

This program is extremely popular. Attendees should arrive by 7 p.m. PNHS students and various resources work together to present this program and make it realistic and impactful.

Officials from the Will County Coroner, Judge’s Association, the Plainfield Fire and Police departments and Edward Hospital emergency room doctors and trauma nurses will play key roles to help send the message.

“We continue to do this program each year to give parents and students a way to talk about this this issue,” PNHS Catalyst Coordinator Tami Curry said.

“In the end we want adolescents to not drink alcohol and get behind the wheel of a vehicle, and anything we can do to help achieve that goal is worth doing.”

The 6th annual “Road to Reality” will also feature representatives of the:

  • Will County State’s Attorney’s Office
  • Will County Sheriff’s Department
  • Illinois State Police
  • Canadian National Railroad
  • Operation Lifesaver
  • Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists (AAIM)
  • Illinois Secretary of State’s Office
  • Edward Hospital
  • Gateway Foundation
  • Will County 12th Judicial Circuit Court
  • Plainfield Fire and Police departments
  • Will County Coroner’s Office
  • Linden Oaks Behavioral Health

Mothers Against Drunk Driving

Lake County to Increase use of Alcohol Ankle Monitors in DUI cases

From the Libertyville Patch:

From the Lake County State Attorney’s Office: With nearly 1,800 DUI arrests in 2016 Lake County has the fourth highest rate of drunk driving in Illinois, and high-risk DUI offenders—those who repeatedly drive drunk or are most likely to cause a serious crash—account for up to a third of those arrests. Now, to improve public safety and reduce repeat offenses, the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office has launched a new program that will monitor these high-risk offenders around the clock to ensure they aren’t drinking.

As a condition of bond, drunk driving offenders who cause a crash with serious injuries, those with multiple DUIs and those who are arrested with a high BAC will be required to stay sober and wear a high-tech anklet that monitors them for drinking 24/7. Post-conviction, these offenders can be sentenced to monitored sobriety for up to 180 days. The program is also set up to address other offenses, like domestic violence and assault, where alcohol played a contributing role.

The goal of the program is to reduce the number of offenders who are putting the community at risk by committing alcohol-involved crimes. Offenders are responsible for the costs of their monitoring, which allows them to maintain their employment and family commitments while ensuring they aren’t drinking and endangering the public.

According to Michael G. Nerheim, Lake County State’s Attorney, “When we separate these offenders from alcohol, we know they aren’t going to be out drinking and driving or committing other alcohol-involved crimes. We are targeting the root cause of these problems, saving taxpayers’ money and giving these offenders the chance to get sober and get their lives back on track.”

Known as SCRAM Continuous Alcohol Monitoring, or SCRAM CAM, the anklet automatically tests the wearer’s perspiration every 30 minutes for alcohol consumption. The technology has been used to monitor 620,000 high-risk DUI offenders around the country and more than 12,500 people in Illinois.

“Alcohol monitoring, especially when it’s part of a larger program of supervision and treatment, can support long-term behavior change, making it less likely these individuals will be back here for another offense in the future,” notes State’s Attorney Nerheim.


Lou Diamond Phillips pleads guilty to DUI, gets probation

From the Corpus-Christi Caller-Times:

SINTON, Texas — Actor Lou Diamond Phillips, who was arrested in November in Portland on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, must not drink for two years after entering into a plea deal Wednesday.

Best known for his role in “La Bamba,” Phillips appeared at the San Patricio County Courthouse around 2 p.m Wednesday with his father. The 56-year-old actor was given two years of probation after entering a guilty plea, his attorney Mark DiCarlo told the Caller-Times.

Other conditions for the actor include the use of a portable device that monitors alcohol, taking part in a DWI education program, not entering bars or taverns, and reporting in-person for probation in San Patricio County for the first four months.

…Phillips, who plays Henry Standing Bear on A&E’s Western crime drama series “Longmire,” was arrested around 1:30 a.m. on Nov. 3.

An officer was in the midst of a traffic stop in the 600 block of Moore Avenue when Phillips pulled up behind the patrol car to ask for directions to Flour Bluff, Portland Police Chief Mark Cory said previously.

Suspecting Phillips was intoxicated, the officer called another officer to assist. Phillips was given  “several” sobriety tests. After failing them, he was arrested and taken to the San Patricio County Jail in Sinton.

Phillips’ blood alcohol concentration was .20, more than double the legal limit in Texas of .08, Cory said.

Read the whole story at