Chicago Police to conduct DUI Saturation Patrols this weekend

The Chicago Police Department has announced the following upcoming DUI Saturation Patrols this weekend:

  • Grand Central (25th District) Friday, May 29th from 7:00 p.m. until Saturday May 30 at 3:00 a.m.
  • Grand Crossing (3rd District) Saturday, May 30th from 7:00 p.m. until Sunday May 31st at 3:00 a.m.

 

Update: man charged with Aggravated DUI, Joliet Police Officer charged with misdemeanor DUI in fatal crash that cost life of Berwyn Officer

Third update:  it appears that there was a chain reaction involving multiple vehicles.  According to the Sun-Times:

A man faces DUI charges in a crash Sunday on Interstate 55 that ultimately led to another collision, resulting in the death of a Berwyn police officer.

Rodrigo Marin, 42, is charged with two counts of aggravated DUI, leaving the scene of an accident, failure to render aid, driving without valid insurance and driving on a revoked license, according to Illinois State Police. He was also cited for failure to reduce speed and improper lane usage.

Marin was driving a 2006 Nissan Titan about 6 a.m. on I-55 when he lost control and crossed into another lane, striking the left side of a 2008 Hino Box truck driven by a 44-year-old man, state police said.

Both vehicles came to a stop in the right two lanes, and Marin allegedly ran off from the crash, state police said.

While the vehicles were blocking the lanes, a Dodge Durango slammed into the box truck, state police said.

Earlier stories focused on the driver of the vehicle in which the Berwyn officer was a passenger.  That driver is a Joliet police officer, who was charged with misdemeanor DUI.

From the Chicago Tribune:

A Joliet police officer faces drunken driving charges after a Berwyn police officer who was a passenger in her car died in a crash Sunday morning on Interstate 55 in Plainfield Township, officials said.

Charles “Chuck” Schauer, 33, who died as a result of the crash around 6 a.m., had been a 10-year veteran of the Berwyn Police Department, according to a statement from the agency. Berwyn Mayor Robert Lovero announced Schauer’s death in a post on social media, referring to his death as a “tragic traffic accident.”

“Please keep Officer Schauer’s family and friends, as well as all Berwyn police officers in your thoughts and prayers during this time of grief,” he wrote.

Erin Zilka, 35, of Plainfield, faces a charge of driving under the influence, according to Illinois State police. Joliet police released a statement Monday saying that Zilka, “a 12-year veteran, was involved in an off-duty vehicle crash on I-55 near Route 30 where her passenger was tragically killed.”

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

Zilka’s attorney, Jeff Tomczak, said her blood-alcohol test came up under the legal limit, but declined to specify the number. He said Zilka was friends with Schauer, and was in “a really bad way.”

“She’s absolutely devastated to a degree I can’t express verbally,” Tomczak said.

He said Zilka “came upon” an earlier accident in a “darkened” part of the road before crashing.

Zilka has been an officer with Joliet police for 6 years, and had served in Shorewood for another 6 years, Tomczak said. He said she is due in court March 18.

Zilka, of Plainfield, was also cited for driving too fast for conditions, state police said.

Kane County to hold “No Refusal” DUI Enforcement Wednesday Nov. 27

From the Daily Herald:

Kane County prosecutors will work with police to hold a No Refusal DUI event on Nov. 27, also known as “Black Wednesday” and one of the biggest party days of the year.

State’s Attorney Joe McMahon said this will be the sixth patrol held the day before Thanksgiving. The goal is not to make arrests, he said, but to encourage people to take alternative transportation if out celebrating…

A No Refusal is different from a roadside safety checkpoint at which police pull over selected vehicles to look for equipment and insurance violations or impaired drivers.

In No Refusal, prosecutors fan out across the county to work with police departments to prepare a search warrant for drivers arrested on charges of DUI who refuse to take a breath or chemical test.

The search warrant is taken to a judge for approval for a phlebotomist to take a blood sample. If the arrestee still refuses, a sample can be forcibly taken or the motorist charged with felony obstruction of justice, which is more severe that the DUI charge.

State Troopers have written 8 times as many Scott’s Law violation so far in 2019 as in all of 2018

Illinois’ “Scott’s Law” requires that when approaching a vehicle displaying flashing lights, a driver move over (if reasonably possible) or slow down.  After several major accidents involving death and/or serious injury to State Troopers, they are fighting back with stepped-up enforcement of the law throughout the entire state.

The numbers are coming in, and they show that:

Eight times as many Scott’s Law violation citations have been written so far in 2019 when compared to last year, according to Illinois State Police.

From January 1, 2019 through November 3, 2019, there were 5,860 tickets written.

During the same period in 2018, 728 citations were handed out.

Read the entire story here:  https://wqad.com/2019/11/04/illinois-state-police-see-major-spike-in-scotts-law-violation-citations/

Chicago Police to do DUI Saturation Patrol tonight in Albany Park

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

The “DUI saturation patrol” will take place from 7 p.m. Friday to 3 a.m. Saturday in the Northwest Side neighborhood.
Chicago police plan to bump up their patrolling of DUI drivers Friday night in the Albany Park.
The “DUI saturation patrol” will take place between 7 p.m. Friday until 3 a.m. Saturday in the Northwest Side neighborhood, Chicago police said.
The patrols will concentrate on a pre-designated area in the 17th District with officers continually monitoring for signs of impaired driving, police said. The patrols will also look for speeding and safety belt violations.
Police said they may deploy their “Breath Alcohol Testing Mobile Unit,” which expedites the DUI charging process and allows for offenders to be released from the site with an individual recognizance bond, police said.

Police to begin aggressive DUI enforcement for Halloween beginning Oct 19

From the Patch:

The Buffalo Grove Police Department will be on the lookout for drunken drivers over the Halloween holiday. An “aggressive” enforcement effort will kick off on Oct. 19 and continue through Nov. 3, according to a news release from the police department.

Read the entire story at:  https://patch.com/illinois/buffalogrove/police-conduct-aggressive-dui-detail-over-halloween-cops

Chicago PD to conduct DUI Saturation Patrol tonight in Rogers Park

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

Chicago police say they will be saturating the Rogers Park neighborhood Friday night to look for DUI drivers.

The “DUI saturation patrol” will take place between 7 p.m. Friday until 3 a.m. Saturday in the North Side neighborhood, Chicago police said.

The patrols will concentrate on a pre-designated area with officers continually monitoring for signs of impaired driving, police said. The patrols will also look for speeding and safety belt violations.

Police said they may deploy their “Breath Alcohol Testing Mobile Unit” which expedites the DUI charging process and allows for offenders to be released from the site with an individual recognizance bond, police said.

Illinois State Police will be conducting DUI Patrols on I-294, I-88 and I-355

From the Patch:

CHICAGO, IL — The Illinois State Patrol announced it would be conducting nighttime enforcement patrols on several Chicago area interstates in September. The special patrols will target drunken drivers and unbuckled passengers and drivers on the Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294) in Cook County, the Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88) in DuPage and Kane counties and the Veterans Memorial Tollway (I-355) in DuPage County, according to an Illinois State Police news release.

The NITE program focuses enforcement efforts on drivers who are impaired and occupants of motor vehicles who are not wearing their seatbelts, according to the state patrol news release.

These patrols will be conducted during nighttime hours when impaired driving crashes causing death or serious injury occur at higher rates.

“Illinois State Police Troopers will have a zero-tolerance approach to impaired and unrestrained drivers during these patrols. Drivers who are arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) will be arrested, their vehicle may be impounded and they may face suspension of their driving privileges for up to one year for a first offense. Drivers who are convicted of DUI may face fines of up to $2,500 and possible imprisonment for up to one year for first convictions. Penalties for subsequent convictions of DUI include possible imprisonment for up to 12 years and fines of up to $25,000 if crashes cause occurs in great bodily harm or permanent disfigurement to other persons,” according to the Illinois State Patrol news release.

State Troopers riding in Semis in order to catch you texting while driving

From Fox 2 St. Louis:

CHICAGO — You wouldn’t expect to see state police climb into big rigs as they head out on patrol, but the giant trucks are their latest tool in the fight against distracted driving.

The “Trooper in a Truck” program, an initiative between the Illinois State Police and the Illinois Trucking Association, aims to make the roads safer for vehicles of all sizes.

“As we’ve seen in the last 10 years, distracted driving in my opinion has overtaken alcohol,” Master Sgt. Bryan Falat tells WGN.

From their higher vantage point, troopers are able to spot distracted drivers and radio the offending vehicle’s information to waiting patrol cars. They then pull them over and issue a ticket.

More than 20 citations were issued Wednesday alone for cell phone violations, improper lane changes, seat belt faux pas and those following too closely. Troopers say this isn’t about money and tickets, it’s about education and safety. And maybe drivers will follow the rules not knowing who is in that truck driving next to them…

In the year the program has been rolling, troopers have used semi trucks to patrol sections of I-57, I-55, I-70 and I-80, catching drivers doing things they shouldn’t do while behind the wheel. Their goal is more than handing out citations; they hope to change drivers’ daily habits and ingrain the safest way to drive in their brains.

Illinois Police are “incredibly unprepared” to deal with marijuana DUI cases

From the State Journal-Register:

Illinois law-enforcement officials are “incredibly unprepared” for the potential upswing in impaired driving that could result from legalization of recreational use of marijuana.

That view of the impact of House Bill 1438 came from a Chicago-area police officer spearheading a pilot program to develop a roadside chemical test for marijuana.

Sgt. Brian Cluever, director of traffic safety at the Carol Stream Police Department, said technology to accurately check saliva for cannabis-related impairment and support driving-under-the-influence cases in courts is months and potentially years away in Illinois and other states.

And unlike alcohol, there’s no breath test for marijuana.

In addition, Cluever said it’s unclear how much it will cost and how long it will take to train more Illinois police officers on how to interview people and conduct field sobriety tests for marijuana. The field tests for pot are different from alcohol but still can be used to arrest and charge drivers with marijuana-related DUI.

Those various challenges will put police in a “tough spot,” Cluever said last week. “We won’t be ready by Jan. 1, 2020.”

But the saliva testing program that the Carol Stream Police Department began using in early 2018 for marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamines, opiates and other drugs has slowed because problems with the testing equipment prompted the department to change suppliers, Cluever said.

Testing with equipment from a new supplier began only this year, and the equipment isn’t sensitive enough detect the presence of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, down to the legal limit in Illinois — 10 nanograms per milliliter in saliva, he said. The equipment is sensitive only to 40 nanograms, he said.

Illinois’ legal limit for THC in blood for drivers is 5 nanograms/ml.

A trial of saliva-testing equipment in Michigan could detect THC no lower than 25 nanograms/ml. A February report on the Michigan pilot program said results were encouraging but that more study was needed.

A 2017 report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration highlighted the challenges facing law enforcement.

The report said surveys show there was a 48 percent increase in the prevalence of drivers testing positive for THC at any level from 2007 to 2013-14, with 8.6 percent positive in 2017 and 12.6 percent positive in 2013-14.

At the same time, the report said the percentage of drivers testing positive for alcohol at any level declined from 12.4 percent in 2007 to 8.3 percent in 2013-14.

The report pointed out that the driving risks posed by alcohol use have been well known for decades, while “relatively little” is known about the risks posed by marijuana and other drugs.

There’s evidence that marijuana “impairs psychomotor skills, divided attention, lane tracking and cognitive function,” but “its role in contributing to the occurrence of crashes remains less clear,” the report said.

Read the entire article here:  https://jg-tc.com/news/state-and-regional/govt-and-politics/police-unprepared-for-pot-impaired-drivers-in-illinois-law-enforcement/article_00eecec7-319e-55f8-89b5-038655963b02.html