Like Strange Drunk Driving Stories? Try Burger King On For Size

strange drunk driving burger kingThere were a lot of strange drunk driving cases in 2017, and many of them involved McDonald’s drive-thru restaurants. It seems like the place to be when you want a snack after a night out, and people don’t mind driving drunk to get there.

But one man in Galesburg, Illinois decided he wanted Burger King instead of McDonalds after a night out, and he wanted to do a little identity theft too. This strange drunk driving story began when he showed up at the restaurant just before one am. Witnesses promptly called him into the police after he was spotted driving erratically in the parking lot. Police arrived just after he almost hit a pedestrian and crashed his car.

When they asked him what his name was, he said it was “Burger King.” In addition to him giving offering up such an odd and obvious name, police noted that he smelt of alcohol and had glassy eyes.

Unlike the real Burger King, this driver wasn’t happy to assist anyone. He refused to cooperate with the police, and when medical assistance arrived, he used racial slurs to try to get rid of them. He was so steadfast in his refusal to cooperate that police had to pick him up and carry him to the police station, and he promised them that Donald Trump was coming to beat them up.

This strange drunk driving case doesn’t end with this man being jailed either. He was sent to the hospital for assessment and he told the doctors that another doctor was coming to give him a million dollars. When he was sent back to jail he told the police officers that they were Satan worshipers.

All in all, it was clear that the man who claimed to be Burger King was actually just really drunk. He was charged with driving under the influence in Illinois, reckless driving, and resisting arrest.

It’s another strange drunk driving story in a year of strange drunk driving stories, and it goes to show what some people will do when they are caught drunk behind the wheel.

Makes No Sense: Why Do Parents Driving Drunk With Children Along?

driving drunk with children Unless you’ve been living off the grid, you should know by now that driving after drinking alcohol is dangerous, illegal, and could possibly kill you or someone else. Why, then, are parents still driving drunk with children along?

There have been more than a few cases recently that involve parents driving drunk with children in the vehicle, and they will make you wonder what that parent was thinking.

New mother in Texas takes baby along

It’s hard to believe anyone would do anything to endanger an infant, but when you take a baby along with you in your car while you’re drunk, you are putting that baby’s life in jeopardy.

That’s exactly what a mom in El Paso, Texas did recently. She took her four-month-old infant with her, and while driving at one am, was unable to remain in her lane. Thankfully police pulled her over before anyone was hurt, and now she’s facing a DWI with a child passenger charge.

In Texas that charge may be a state felony, and the penalties for it include a $10,000 fine, two years in prison, and the loss of a driver’s license for six months.

Illinois woman charged after she drives impaired with five-year-old

A Naperville, Illinois woman was arrested on a DUI charge after she was stopped for driving erratically. That’s bad enough, but she also had a five year old in the back seat of the vehicle and the child wasn’t in a car seat.

She was called in by a concerned driver, and when police arrived they found she was driving under the influence and had a suspended license. She’s also been charged with endangering the life of a child and received a car seat violation.

In Illinois, endangering the life of a child because of a DUI charge will mean that the defendant receives stiff penalties. She may serve six months in prison, and if that child would have been harmed in any way because she was driving drunk, she could spend one to three years in prison and pay a maximum of $25,000 in fines.

When will parents learn that drunk driving with children along is a bad idea for everyone? The parents end up in hot water, and the children have the potential to be injured or killed. It really is a no win situation for everyone involved.

Illinois Drunk Driver Hits Fire Hydrant In Front of Fire Fighters

Shocked manWhen you mix alcohol and driving, you can get yourself in a lot of crazy situations. Some of these situations can lead to serious trouble for the driver. After an Illinois drunk driving suspect crashed his car, he proved that point in an ironic sort of way.

The man from Naperville, Illinois was driving when in the early morning hours when he took a curve and smashed right into a fire hydrant. By coincidence the crash was witnessed by a group of fire fighters who were heading back to the station. Police called to the scene found a drunk driver with open alcohol inside the vehicle.

Unfortunately for this drunk driver, it wasn’t the first time he made the choice to get behind the wheel drunk. This was his second Illinois drunk driving charge in two months. He’s now been charged with felony aggravated DUI, driving with a suspended license, and open alcohol.

With two drunk driving charges within two months, this offender is going to see his fair share of drunk driving penalties. As a first offender he would have received a one year driver’s license suspension, a maximum fine of $2,500, and if he were approved for a Monitored Device Driving Permit (MDDP), would have able to install an ignition interlock device during his time of suspension.

Because he ignored his driver’s license suspension and drove drunk again, he’s no longer a first offender. That means he’s more likely to receive, at a minimum, a driver’s license suspension of five years, mandatory jail time or community service, and maximum fines of $2,500.

It’s not every day you crash your vehicle into a fire hydrant in front of a group of fire fighters, but maybe that crash was the wakeup call this offender needed to finally stop making the choice to drink and drive.

Smartphone Breathalyzer Option For Illinois Drunk Drivers

There’s a real effort to crack down on people charged with drunk driving in Illinois, and that means trying new programs and implementing new laws. The state passed an all offender ignition interlock law in 2016, and since that time they’ve required anyone charged with drunk driving in Illinois to install the device in his or her vehicle.

Ignition interlocks are the only device that is proven to prevent drunk driving, but to stop even more offenders, the state of Illinois is giving another experimental program a try. It’s a court-monitored sobriety program called Trac, and it utilizes a smartphone breathalyzer system.

People participating in the program need to blow into a breath-test device connected to their smart phone. It works via Bluetooth, and the offender needs to blow several times a day while the program takes a photo of them and charts their location via GPS. Once the person blows into the device the image is sent to a server and the monitoring company checks the image to ensure it’s the person who’s supposed to be blowing.

The goal of the program is to get the offender to live a sober lifestyle and abstain from drinking alcohol completely. If they can manage to do that for one year, it’s possible that he or she may maintain that sobriety when they are no longer submitting breath tests several times per day.

According to organizers, dozens of people have participated and only four people have failed the program. Because of that, they believe that a program like this one may be more effective than ignition interlocks to stop a drunk driver.

But that’s not true: forcing sobriety on a drunk driving offender can mean that, when he or she is done the program, they immediately begin drinking again. It’s like being on a diet where you really want a piece of cake, and when you finally lose the weight you wanted to, you treat yourself. Then you treat yourself again, and before you know it you’re officially off the wagon and, in the case of drunk driving, back behind the wheel.

That’s why ignition interlocks are the only solution to stopping a drunk driver. It’s fine if you slip up and drink alcohol, just as long as you don’t try to drive. If you do, that interlock will stop you before you can make a huge mistake again.

These types of programs may work well together to stop someone from driving drunk again, but unlike interlocks, a sobriety-program just can’t be as successful on its own.

Friday fallout: Ignition Interlock Compliance Can Reduce DUI in Illinois

ignition interlock IllinoisIf no one ever tried to innovate in the fight drunk driving, there would be no police grade breathalyzers, no ignition interlock devices, and no roadside checkpoints. Life would go on as it did back when cars first hit the roads, and decade after decade would pass with drunk drivers claiming the lives of even more innocent people than it does now.

That’s why it’s not surprising that an opinion writer in Champaign County, Illinois has come up with what he hopes could be a solution to stopping drunk drivers. Although he acknowledges that both Illinois and Champaign County are already tough on drunk drivers, with an all offender ignition interlock law in place and numerous other penalties to deter drunk drivers, he also feels as though there could be other steps the county could take to stop these drivers.

Focusing on the issue of stopping people who have been drinking from driving home after they leave the bar at night, he’s suggested three steps:

  • Anyone who has a Class A liquor license, including restaurants, pubs, bars, and nightclubs, would be given a breathalyzer device and the training to use it. Using the breathalyzer would be one of the conditions under which that establishment could serve alcohol
  • Any person who drives a vehicle to a place that serves alcohol would be required to hand over their keys to the bartender before they could be served
  • When the person leaves the bar, he or she would have to blow into a breathalyzer before they would get their keys back. If they blow over the legal limit of .08, he or she would receive a free parking sticker and a shuttle would be called to get them home safely

These are good ideas, and they definitely take a new approach to the fight against drunk driving, but the implementation of a program like this would be difficult. On a busy night a bar would have their hands full with people who would need to blow before they could leave, and that wouldn’t stop anyone who just happened to have an extra set of keys in their pocket either. The room for error when obtaining a sample is also high, and there would have to be a rigorous training program for anyone who would be operating the breathalyzer.

A better idea of Illinois is to establish an ignition interlock compliance program and ensure that each and every offender who should be using an interlock actually is using an interlock. Because it’s so often repeat offenders and people driving on suspended driver’s licenses who make the choice to drink and drive over and over again, putting the brakes on these offenders is exactly what Illinois needs to curb their rate of drunk driving.

Friday Fallout: Only Ten Days In Jail For Drunk Driving Killer

drunk driver chicago

Image from Ride On Bobby Facebook

If you make the choice to be a drunk driver, you also choose to accept what could come after you put the keys in the ignition. Yes, many people will manage to get home or to wherever they’re going without injuring or killing someone, but you could end up smashing into another car, a pedestrian, a home, tree, or just drive off the road. When that happens, and it happens often, you could end the life of an innocent person and drag their family into a situation where you’re fighting for your freedom and they’re fighting for justice.

That’s exactly what happened in Chicago when drunk driver was driving after a baseball game back in 2013. He was speeding and had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15 when he struck a cyclist in an intersection. The cyclist died shortly after, and the driver was charged with reckless homicide and aggravated driving under the influence (DUI).

The case finally went to trial recently, and despite the overwhelming evidence against the drunk driver and harsh Illinois drunk driving laws that require up to fourteen years in jail for aggravated DUI, this driver in this case is only receiving ten days in jail.

Is ten days in jail a fair period of time for an offender who took a life thanks to a drunk driving crash? Not if you ask the family of the victim. Yes, this driver will receive four years probation and is required to pay $25,000 in funeral expenses to the victim’s family, but ten days would seem fairly lenient when other offenders have received much more.

That’s the true tragedy of drunk driving crashes. Someone loses their life because a person decides to drink and drive, and the family of the victim loses that person and is forced to wait for justice that may never come.

Unless you say no to drinking and driving and you always find a sober driver, you’ll never be exempt from the possibility that you could turn your life and the lives of innocent people upside down. Say no to drunk driving, even after one drink, and don’t make the same mistake.

The Friday Fallout: Every Friday Guardian Interlock brings you a unique drunk driving case that demonstrates the impact of – or fallout from – drunk driving.

Non-Drinking Officer Nabbed for DUI Over Egg Nog

dui charge due to egg nogThanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s may be everyone’s favorite holidays, but it’s also a time of year that becomes really stressful for law enforcement. These three holidays and the days leading up to them are some of the busiest for drunk drivers. It’s the time of the year where, even if you think you’d never drink and drive, it’s all too easy to end up with a DUI charge (driving under the influence) because of casual drinking.

Take the case of Bensenville, Illinois police officer for example. Although police officers hand out hundreds of DUI charges every year, one officer is currently in court because of his own DUI charge that happened during the holiday season last year. He never meant to drink and drive; he just wanted to try a cup of eggnog.

The officer started his shift at 3 pm that day, but he’d tried a glass of eggnog about four hours before that. He said he wasn’t a drinker, but he wanted to taste it a little bit. There must have been more alcohol in the eggnog than he thought, because he got behind the wheel and drove his police SUV straight into a utility pole within hours of drinking.

When other police arrived on the scene, the officer failed a portion of the roadside sobriety test and refused to submit to a breath and blood test. When explaining why he failed part of the field sobriety test, he said he had weak eye muscles, and when asked about the alcohol he drank, he said he thought the eggnog was a lot stronger than he originally thought.

The officer didn’t receive a job suspension because of his DUI charge, but that’s because he resigned the day after he was arrested. Whether he’ll be convicted of DUI or not will be decided in November when the judge hands down his verdict, but if he is he’ll be subject to Illinois DUI laws. That includes fines, driver’s license suspensions, and an ignition interlock program for all offenders. As a first time offender he’ll be required to install an ignition interlock for a minimum of one year.

This case is a good reminder for everyone: when it comes to holiday drinking, even just a “taste” of alcohol can get you in trouble. If you’ve had something to drink, you’ll have a far safer holiday season is you make the decision to let someone else drive.

Illinois DOT Gets Creative To Stop Drunk Driving

Illinois DOT drunk driving

Image from the Illinois DOT

The Illinois Department of Transportation (DOT) is well known for cracking down on drunk driving by partnering with law enforcement for the “Drive Sober Or Get Pulled Over” campaign. This campaign, a crackdown occurring on popular drunk driving periods like Labor Day and the Christmas holidays, focuses on upping law enforcement and pulling people over when the roads are clogged with drunk drivers.

But Drive Sober is just one of the unique ways the Illinois DOT is trying to pull drunk drivers off the roads. They’ve also spent some time and energy creating some pretty funny video campaigns that they’re hoping will help connect with people who might consider driving drunk.

Turns out in Illinois a whopping 40% of people who die in an alcohol-related crashes are males between the age of 18-35. The Illinois DOT wants to relate to this demographic, so they created a classic parody of 1970 police officers on the job.

Take a look at one of the trailers for the series below.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8R-1JzdkhUY]

This isn’t the first year the Illinois DOT have used humor to connect to younger drinking drivers. Last year they took a page from the Walking Dead and created the video “Driving Dead.” There are multiple episodes of this series, and they’re full of fast cars, gunfire, and you guessed it, zombies. With over 700,000 views on a single episode, this video series is one that’s definitely hit its mark.

Using out-of-the-box campaigns to fight back against drunk driving is a great idea. They get people thinking about drunk driving in an entirely new way, and they get attention in an entertaining format that a lot of people can relate too. With the war against drunk driving decades old and no end in sight, anything that works to stop people from getting behind the wheel after drinking is a good thing.

Illinois Ignition Interlock And Impaired Driving Laws

Illinois Ignition InterlockIllinois is best known for Abe Lincoln’s law practice and and the allure of its windy city, Chicago. It’s also pretty well known as a state that’s actively trying to curb its impaired driving problem. Illinois ignition interlock and DUI (driving under the influence) laws reflect that.

Take the decriminalizing of marijuana for example. When Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed a new law to decriminalize marijuana possession in July, the state had to re-define what it meant to drive under the influence. In the case of marijuana, Illinois lawmakers made the decision to charge a driver with DUI if they have five or more nanograms of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, in their blood stream or ten nanograms in their saliva.

If a driver is driving under the influence of drugs, he or she is subject to the same penalties a drunk driver would receive in Illinois, and those penalties aren’t easy on the offender.

A first offender in Illinois could spend up to one year in jail. He or she would receive a minimum of one-year driver’s license suspension and pay fines up to $2,500. Those fines don’t include legal fees, driver’s license reinstatement fees, or any court ordered driver’s education fees you may have to pay. For a second time offender the penalties stay the same for jail time and fines, but the driver will lose his or her license for a minimum of five years.

Anyone with a drunk driving conviction has to participate in the Illinois ignition interlock program. Thanks to the all offender ignition interlock law, even first offenders will be required to use the device for at least one year. If you’ve had your driver’s license revoked for life because of four or more DUI convictions, you can apply for a Restricted Driving Permit. If you meet certain terms and conditions, you’ll be able to drive again with an ignition interlock.

Illinois continues to struggle with its drunk driving problem, but with new laws for driving under the influence of drugs and an all offender ignition interlock law, they could make great strides in their fight against drunk driving.

State Drunk Driving Laws Mean No Two Sentences Are Equal

drunk driving laws Once you’re charged with drunk driving, how you’re sentenced really depends on the state you live in, your drunk driving laws, and the judge presiding over your case.

No two drunk driving sentences are alike. Take a look at four of these offender’s sentences as an example.

Repeat offender in Sycamore, Illinois

After an officer stopped him when driving erratically through a drive-thru, one man declined the breathalyzer and tried to hide in his truck. His previous conviction included a crash in 2010, and although he was charged with aggravated driving under the influence and aggravated driving under with a suspended or revoked license, he was only convicted of aggravated driving while license revoked. His sentence of 180 days in jail may have been longer had prosecutors successfully demonstrated he was drunk driving.

Rome, New York woman convicted for drunk driving crash

Amy Dell is going to prison thanks to a drunk driving crash that killed another driver. She was driving down the wrong side of the road when she hit another car, and now she’ll spend anywhere from eight to 25 years in prison for her crime.

Crash in Wisconsin gets driver nine years in jail

A 28-year-old repeat offender pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter after a crash killed the passenger in her vehicle. A Wisconsin judge sentenced her to nine years in prison and five years of probation when she’s released.

Hockey Hall of Famer gets driver’s license suspensions

Ray Bourque, a former Boston Bruin and Hockey Hall of Famer was arrested after he rear-ended a mini-van with his car. He was given a breathalyzer test and his blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was .249. It was his first offense, and he received a 45-day driver’s license suspension plus an 180 day driver’s license suspension for refusing the breathalyzer.

These are just a few examples of how drunk driving laws and judicial process can affect sentencing of offenders. Even if you’ve been arrested for drunk driving one time, there’s no guarantee you’ll walk away without stiff penalties. If you’ve been arrested for drunk driving and you’re worried that you’ll be prosecuted to the max under your state’s drunk driving laws, go and see a lawyer. If you haven’t been charged with drunk driving, just keep in the mind that the best way to avoid this situation completely is to not drink and drive.

 

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