12.22.2008

I want to know who thought this was an acceptable idea

Illinois rules for drunken drivers change on Jan. 1

Come Jan. 1, first-time driving under the influence offenders who want to drive during their period of statutory summary suspension will have to take extraordinary steps.

Legislation approved in August 2007 requires the offender to install a "breath alcohol ignition interlock device" on his vehicle. The device prevents the engine from starting if the breath sample registers a blood-alcohol content of 0.025 percent or more. Anyone driving the vehicle will be required to use the device, which requires additional blows at random intervals throughout the trip.

The same legislation, Senate Bill 300, also increases the length of statutory summary suspension from three to six months for those who failed a breath alcohol test when arrested and from six months to a year for those who refused to take the breath alcohol test at time of arrest.
Make sure you remember that.

Ogden woman killed in Interstate 74 crash

An Ogden woman was killed Friday afternoon in a three-car collision on Interstate 74.

...

State police Master Sgt. Rory Steidl said area police agencies were notified by radio of a wrong-way driver headed west in the eastbound lanes of I-74. About 30 seconds later, the crash occurred at the Illinois Central overpass, he said.

...

The vehicle, driven by Elizabeth Drewes, 53, of the 1000 block of Churchill Downs Drive, Champaign, struck other vehicles and caught on fire, according to a release from the Champaign Fire Department.

...

Drewes refused medical treatment but was transported to the hospital; she was later arrested on preliminary charges of aggravated driving under the influence.
Make sure you remember that.

Champaign police officer pleads guilty to misdemeanor DUI

A Champaign police officer who admitted driving drunk the wrong way on an interstate highway will be spared a conviction.

Lisa Staples, 39, pleaded guilty Thursday before Champaign County Judge Richard Klaus to misdemeanor DUI and was sentenced to 18 months of court supervision. Should she successfully complete the period, she'll have no record of a conviction. She has been a Champaign police officer since 1997.

Staples will also wear an alcohol monitoring bracelet on her ankle that can tell if she consumes alcohol; perform 250 hours of public service; and pay a $750 fine and court costs.

Staples was arrested early Nov. 30 as she drove her unmarked departmental squad car west in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 72 just west of Mahomet. Several people had called to report a driver going the wrong way on the highway about 2:30 a.m. At 2:47 a.m., she was stopped by a Piatt County sheriff's deputy.

...

Both Piraino and Lee said their goal was a resolution that might allow Staples to keep her job as a police officer, a decision that's up in the air.

"If she can't drive, she can't be a police officer," Piraino said.

Lee, a prosecutor for 20 years, said Staples made a "bad, terrible mistake" but he agreed to court supervision because no one was hurt. The DUI was her first ticket, he said.


Excuse me? Someone drives drunk the wrong-way on the interstate in a city vehicle and everyone is worried on whether she'll keep her job?

I've known people who have gotten DUIs and *never* *ever* *ever* have I heard of *anyone*---the prosecutor, the judge, the police---being worried about whether a DUI conviction would lead to job loss. When you are convicted of a DUI, you get your license suspended---I believe it's mandatory and done by the Secretary of State's office, not the courts. And frankly, if this person is getting special treatment, it's bullshit.

Plain and utter bullshit. No one is better than anyone else. And someone who would not only drive drunk but drive drunk in their work vehicle (an act that would get your ass fired if you worked for the university or state)---I doubt their judgment completely.

I knew a construction worker who had an extremely difficult time making a living after his DUI.

I knew a guy who quit college because he commuted from home to a community college.

I knew a girl who had to move back in with her parents because she needed help getting to and from meetings, community service, and work.

Why is this person better than the rest of the Champaign population that the laws don't apply to her.

I cry BULLSHIT.

It sucks to fuck up. It sucks to lose your license. It sucks to be put into poverty because of poor judgment or poor decision making. And I can sympathize with people who seem to be punished far longer than seems necessary. Now, if we want to have a discussion about how strict Champaign County is regarding DUIs, that's a completely different discussion and I'm willing to have it.

But I'm not sympathetic enough to think that *some* people get special treatment while others don't.

And I want to know who was responsible for this. Because it's wrong.

Equal treatment under the law. Or else it's just "some are more equal than others."

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm with you; I am livid at Staple's slap on the hands. A freakin squad car on the wrong side of the interstate, I can NOT believe it. Not only should they throw the book at her, but she should be fired.

Drewes, on the other hand, wasn't just drunk and disoriented. She was suicidal, and had been sought/chased by police all morning. She "decided" to enter the interstate going the wrong way in an attempt to take her own life.

My loved one pulled her "victims" from their car that day. Drewes watched, shrugged, and couldn't have cared less. Her $5Million bond wasn't high enough.

Wendy said...

As far as I'm concerned, people convicted of multiple DUIs can be taken out and shot. I grew up in the area, and travel I74 whenever I visit my family. My father or mother could have easily been a victim of Drewes - Dad could see the aftermath of the accident from work. Cops should be held to higher standards, no lower. "No record of a conviction"? For a few rotten hours of community service?? That's utter crap.

Leeanthro said...

This is actually the anniversary of my father-in-law being hit by a drunk driver right here in C-U. The asshole had several priors. Drunk off his ass in the middle of the afternoon and hit him head on. It ultimately caused my FIL's death, but not until he suffered several years with a brain injury, loss of speech, and paralysis. Not to mention the suffering of his family. The stress of which pretty much killed my MIL.

They should not even hesitate to fire her and hold her to the same standard as everyone else who commits this type of crime.

Drunk driving affects so many people and should be taken very seriously.

Shameful.

Gamera said...

https://secure.jtsmith.com/clerk/yytt331s.asp

12-02-08---Motion for the Appointment of a Special Prosecutor on file. Motion allowed. Court appoints attorney Tony Lee as Special Prosecutor in this matter. Order for Appointment of a Special Prosecutor entered. SEE ORDER. Cause is assigned to the Honorable Richard P. Klaus for further proceedings.

12-23-08---Statutory Summary Suspension - 7/15/09

A. Does this mean Tony Lee asked for court supervision and Judge Klaus went along with it?

B. Does this mean she lost her license via mandatory suspension until her supervision is over (6 months from now) and then she'll get her license back?

This still stinks to high heaven....