All driving under the influence charges are serious. Drunk driving charges can lead to various criminal and social penalties. Those found guilty of DUI can be sentenced to jail time, community service, large fines and lose their drivers’ licenses. The time and expense can be daunting.
However, there are certain aggravating factors that can increase the severity of DUI charges in Illinois — and with these increased charges come increased penalties. These aggravating factors include the number of DUIs a person has been convicted of. The more DUI convictions the more severe the penalties. Other factors include whether a minor was in the car, if a person is speeding, if a person is driving without a license, whether someone else is hurt and if a person has an extremely high blood alcohol content level — usually more than two times the legal limit or higher.
Recently, a man on Chicago’s Southside has been arrested and charged with aggravated DUI after having met several of these aggravating factors. According to police, the man was driving in the Englewood neighborhood when he drove through a stop sign on South Morgan Street. As a result, the man hit and killed a two-year-old girl who had escaped from her great-grandmother’s arms. Following this initial collision, police claim, the man hit several construction cones and a parked car. Police say that these collisions rendered the 1999 Chrysler Concord useless. Since the car was no longer able to drive, the man tried to escape on foot before he was arrested.
Police allege that the man’s BAC level was a .252 percent — more than three times higher than Illinois’ legal limit. He has since been charged with several driving related charges for driving without a license or insurance and for causing an accident in a construction zone. He also faces aggravated DUI no valid driver’s license and aggravated DUI in an accident causing death.
When a person faces aggravated DUI charges, that person must prepare a criminal defense or face increased penalties. These penalties are especially high when someone is hurt or killed as a result of drunk driving. However, even in these serious situations, there are ways to reduce charges.
Source: Chicago Tribune, “Prosecutors: Driver in drunk driving wreck that killed toddler was 3 times legal limit,” Deanese Williams-Harris and Geoff Ziezulewicz, Sept. 22, 2013