Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists releases its list of Top Cops and Departments

The Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists has released its annual list of its “Top Cops” and Departments.

The list should be familiar to any attorney who practices in Chicago’s Traffic Court – 7 of the top 10 and 9 of the top 12 issue citations that are heard at the Richard J. Daley Center.  Only two of the top 12 officers are from outside Cook County.

Amazingly, four of the cops are from the same Chicago Police District.

Here is the list of the 12 cops who made the most DUI arrests in Illinois in 2016:

Rank
Title
Top Cops
Department
DUI Arrests
1 Trooper Eric David ISP District Chicago 297
2 Officer Timothy Walter Chicago District #19 210
3 Trooper Lucas Sniady ISP District Chicago 196
4 Officer Elliot Tupayachi Chicago District #19 180
5 Officer Phillip Travis Chicago District #16 128
6 Officer Tesfai Tewelde Chicago District #25 124
7 Officer Carlos Ortiz Chicago District #19 119
8 Investigator Andrew Hartman Rockford 118
9 Officer John Fermon Bloomington 107
10 Officer Dennis Dwyer Oak Lawn 105
10 Officer John Maclaren Chicago District #19 105
11 Officer Mark Januszewski Chicago District #24 103

 

Yes, you read that right.  One officer made 297 DUI arrests in a single calendar year.  Assuming that he gets 2 days off a week, plus one week of vacation per year – even without sick days that means he makes more than one DUI arrest per day.

In terms of Departments, here is the ranking (figures obtained from here and here)

State Police 5,619
Chicago 2,592
Rockford 459
Decatur 401
Elgin 365
Naperville 312
Cicero 305
Carol Stream 305
Bloomington 300
Normal 239
Aurora 234
Lombard 233
Springfield 230
Oak Lawn 223
Joliet 212

In Illinois, a fourth DUI is a mandatory minimum three years in prison

There was a story in today’s Chicago Tribune about a 52 year old Naperville woman who was sentenced to three years in prison for her fourth DUI.

She was not involved in an accident.  It sounds like she was being cooperative with the police.  She consented to a breath test.

Unlike a certain well-publicized case where a drunk driver killed a bicyclist and received only ten days in jail, this woman is going to prison.

This was not a case of a judge being harsh.  Actually, the judge was being lenient.  This drunk driver received the mandatory minimum sentence.

In Illinois, a fourth DUI is a Class 2 felony, punishable from three to seven years.  Probation is not permitted in such a case (on the other hand, probation is allowed in DUI death cases when there is “exceptional circumstances”).

Here is the relevant section of the DUI statute (625 ILCS 5/11-501(d)(2)(C)):

A fourth violation of this Section or a similar
    
provision is a Class 2 felony, for which a sentence of probation or conditional discharge may not be imposed.

So, as the saying goes, “if you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.”

AAIM releases 2015 Illinois DUI arrest stats

Every year, the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists releases statistics regarding DUI arrests.  Here are some of the numbers:

Top Arresting Departments:

Illinois State Police (statewide): 6,584

Chicago Police:  3,315

Top Cook Suburb:  Cicero:  300 (runner-up Berwyn:  225)

Top DuPage Suburb:  Carol Stream: 464 (runner-up Naperville:  369)

The whole list can be found here:  https://www.aaim1.org/stats_dui.asp

They also produce a list of the “Top Cops” who made the most DUI arrests, which can be found here:  https://www.aaim1.org/stats_topcops.asp  It is interesting to me that the top 5 cops all are stationed in the Chicago area, and they make up 8 of the top 10.  Overall, there were nine Chicago cops who made 100 or more DUI arrests in 2015, as well as another 2 Illinois State Police Officers patrolling the Chicago highways.  Three officers had more than 225 arrests, and one had 310!  Considering that the average officer works less than 250 days of the year, that is at least one DUI arrest per shift.

What should you do if you are requested to do field sobriety tests?

Here is a link to an article entitled “What are the Strategies for Dealing With Field Sobriety Tests in Illinois” for the legal publishing company Nolo.com.

You will find some useful strategies in case you unfortunately come across this situation some day.

Here is the url:  http://dui.drivinglaws.org/dui-illinois-field-sobriety-test-strategies.htm

25 year old Mundelein Trustee Arrested for DUI

dakotahFrom the Pioneer Press, story by Rick Kambic:

Mundelein Village Trustee Dakotah Norton was charged over the weekend with driving under the influence of alcohol, according to police — which is now his second criminal charge since 2007.

Vernon Hills police stopped Norton, 25, of the 100 block of Racine Place, Mundelein, at 11:15 p.m. Sunday, after police said they saw erratic driving.

According to police reports, officers saw Norton’s car driving in the middle of both southbound Butterfield Road lanes after turning off Allanson Road.

Police said Norton’s car swerved to the right in order to pass another vehicle and then swerved to left to resume its original position.

Even though the light was red, he then made a left turn from Butterfield Road onto eastbound Townline Road, according to police.

Upon stopping him a few blocks later, police noticed the odor of alcohol on Norton’s breath and decided to conduct a field sobriety test, which he failed, reports show.

“I’d like to apologize to anyone I could have hurt while I was on the road, I’d like to apologize to the Village of Mundelein for the damage this arrest will cause to our reputation, and I’d like to apologize to everyone who believed in my mission when I ran for office,” Norton said on June 17.

He secured the third open seat on the Mundelein Village Board when he collected more than 25 percent of the votes during the April 7 municipal election. He was sworn into office on May 11 and has served in two meetings so far.

Norton said he was at home casually drinking with some friends the night of June 14 when he decided to get some groceries from the Wal-Mart in Vernon Hills.

“I don’t think I was a danger to anyone, but it was a lack of judgment to even risk it,” Norton said. “It was wrong; I should have asked someone else to drive or not left the house at all.”

“I think it’s important to not hide this, but I also don’t want it to detract from the goals and issues I’m working toward on behalf of the Mundelein taxpayers,” Norton said.

Mayor Steve Lentz said he’s aware of the situation and has no plans to conduct a hearing or investigation.

“I spoke with Dakotah and he was very apologetic toward me and the village. He then described his plans for correcting his behavior,” Lentz said. “I walked away from the conversation feeling satisfied. I believe he was being very sincere with his apology and with the plans he laid before me.”

Norton is scheduled in court July 15. However, the DUI charge is not Norton’s first encounter with police.

Court records show that Norton was charged with delivery of marijuana in November 2007, according to Cynthia Vargas, a spokesperson for the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Norton pleaded guilty, according to court records, and was given 24 months of probation and 100 hours of community service; he was also required to complete a treatment program.

His probation fell under an Illinois law pertaining to first-time drug offenders, which allows courts to withhold judgment and sentence an offender to probation. If the probation is successfully completed, the court may dismiss the charges.

Norton successfully completed his probation, according to Vargas.

When asked about the arrest, Norton said he was a teenager at the time and that he was experimenting and was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“I was making some bad decisions back then, but I don’t think they were devastating or dangerous,” Norton said. “That arrest taught me that actions have consequences, and I haven’t had any run-ins with the law since then. But now my bad decision on Sunday discredits all that growth I went through these past eight years.”

Read the whole story here at:  http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/mundelein/news/ct-mun-dakotah-norton-dui-tl-0625-20150617-story.html (behind the Tribune’s paywall)

Why the 30 day hard-time rule for first offense DUI offenders is outmoded and should be replaced

This weekend, there was a Chicago Tribune story about how “activists” are trying to get rid of the 30 day “hard-time” rule that keeps DUI arrestees from getting a driving permit until after their license has been suspended for 30 days.

What is the history and purpose of the hard time rule?

When our statutory summary suspension laws went into the books in the 1980s, the stated reason for the hard-time period was that it would created a “cooling off” period in which “drunks” would be taken off the roads.  Ultimately, a judge could issue him or her a Judicial Driving Permit to allow him or her to drive to work.  In reality, it was as much of a “tough on DUI” measure as anything else.

The 30 day hard-time rule was required under Federal Highway subsidy laws.  A state would have to have a 30 day hard-time period in order to get federal funds.

Why is it time to change?

Several years ago, Illinois changed its DUI suspension law, doubling the length of time of suspension, in return for a more “liberal” driving permit, which allows a person to drive 24/7 so long as he or she installs a BAIID in his or her car.

The BAIID removes the need for the 30 day period, since you can’t drive drunk if you have a BAIID.  The BAIID prevents a person from starting a car with a BAC of 0.025 or higher.

As mandatory BAIID laws became popular, the federal government removed the 30 day hard-time rule from its highway funding bills for states that required them.  But Illinois didn’t do anything when this happened.  Instead, they kept the 30 day hard time.

As a result, people who are accused of DUI have to worry about that hard-time period.  How will they get to work?  How will they get their kids to school?  What if their mom needs to go to the doctor?  They put pressure on their attorneys to get that suspension lifted so they don’t lose their job because our legislature has failed to act.

There can be no question that the 30 day hard time rule is outdated and needs to be removed.  Let people get Monitored Device Driving Permits from day one of their suspension.