DuPage, Lake Counties follow Cook County’s lead and (mostly) shut down court. Also Secretary of State and Federal Court

After holding off until this afternoon, both DuPage and Lake Counties announced today that they will suspend most court operations beginning tomorrow, March 17th due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The order in DuPage County is in effect until April 17th and in Lake until further notice.

As with other courts, there will still be some cases heard, particularly bond court and emergency motions.  Both DuPage and Lake will provide courtrooms for cases where there are speedy trial demands (where the parties cannot agree on a continuance).  Also, DuPage will continue to hold court for arraignments.

The full order can be found on the DuPage County Court website.

Lake County’s order can be found on its website.

Federal Court is also slowing down.  Here is a link to the Northern District of Illinois’ site where you can get all the information.

Also, I am told that the Secretary of State will not be conducting any hearings until at least April 1st.

Glendale Heights Administrator arrested for DUI and leaving the scene of an accident

From WLS News:

A village administrator for Glendale Heights has been charged with DUI and leaving the scene of a crash on Labor Day.

Glendale Heights police said they responded to a hit-and-run crash at 2:40 p.m. on September 2 at the intersection of Schmale Road and West Stevenson Drive.

Police identified the suspect as Raquel Becerra, 47, who surrendered to police on October 2 after an arrest warrant was issued.

On Monday, police said Becerra was charged with two counts of driving under the influence of alcohol and one count of leaving the scene of a property damage accident, once count of disobeying a stop sign and one count of failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

Becerra was released after posting bail and is scheduled to appear in court on October 31.

Elmhurst, IL will conduct a DUI roadblock Friday night

roadblockcheck

From the Patch:

Drivers in Elmhurst are warned of a planned crackdown this weekend. Police will be stationed along a major thoroughfare in town from 11:30 p.m. on Friday, April 26 until 3 a.m. on Saturday, April 27. They will be conducting a “roadside safety checkpoint” and focus on the enforcement of driving under the influence and seatbelt laws.

Courts to be closed due to sub-zero weather

Cook County has announced that courts will be closed Wednesday, January 30, 2019 and Thursday, January 31, 2019 due to expected sub-zero degree temperatures.  The only exception will be bond court at 26th Street and 555 W. Harrison.

This link will take you to Chief Judge Timothy Evans’ order, which includes information concerning rescheduled court dates.

Other courts have officially announced that they will be closed Wednesday, including the Federal Court in Chicago and state courts in DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will Counties.  You can find information about court closures here:  http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/

 

Elmhurst will conduct a DUI roadblock tonight

From the Elmhurst Patch:

The Elmhurst Police Department continues to take part in a year-long traffic enforcement grant from the Illinois Department of Transportation. According to the department, the goal of this grant is to save lives by reducing fatal and serious injury crashes through additional enforcement of DUI and seatbelt laws.

The department said the roadside safety checkpoint will take place on major roadway in Elmhurst starting at 11:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30 and ending at 3 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 1.

As part of the grant, periodic roadside safety checkpoints are being set up throughout the year, with vehicles being stopped at a predetermined interval and checked for violations, the department said.

Woman arrested for DUI two times in three hours

From the Patch:

ELMHURST, IL — A Villa Park woman was arrested twice in one night on May 18, both times for DUI, according to Elmhurst Police reports. Brenda Rivera, 28, was first arrested at 1:39 a.m. at North and Route 83.

According to reports, officers stopped Rivera for improper lane use, and then it was found she was drunk driving. She was charged with DUI, improper lane use and was released on her bond. Her car was also towed.

Then, at 3:40 a.m., officers again arrested Rivera at North and Myrtle, according to reports. Officers had stopped her for speeding and improper lane use, and was still under the influence of alcohol.

After being released from custody the first time, Rivera had borrowed a car since her own car was towed, according to reports.

Rivera was charged under State of Illinois charges with DUI, violation of bail bond, improper lane use and speeding. She was then taken to DuPage County Jail.

Assuming that the first arrest was the first ever arrest for Ms. Rivera, and that her driver’s license was valid, then both of these cases would be misdemeanors.

This type of thing used to happen more often before police began impounding vehicles after a DUI arrest.  Also, nowadays, most towns hold a suspect for several hours before releasing them.  Neither of these things happened when I first began to practice DUI defense.  Back then, it was not unusual for a person to get his or her car keys back when he or she bonded out, and be able to drive home.

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