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.”