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Repeat DUI offender in Illinois highlights larger judicial issue

In an earlier post this month we reported on the fact that a 59-year-old woman was charged with driving under the influence after being involved in several accidents where a Illinois state trooper and seven others were injured. Since then, more information regarding the woman's driving record -- which includes a history of drunk driving arrests -- has been released, showing just how difficult it can be to keep a habitual drunk driver off of the road.

To start, according to her record, the most recent accident involving the state trooper came less than 48 hours after she was released from Cook County Jail. At the time, a judge ordered that she not drive and report to probation. However, less than two days after being released, she was back in the county jail.

According to police, this was the woman's third drunk driving crash in the last year. Prior to her release -- before the most recent accident -- she was evening serving more than three months in jail in connection to a crash in Brookfield. Court records show her drunk driving history goes back to 2008.

In looking at the punishments she has received, her record shows her license has been suspended more than once and she has been fined. She has also received treatment for alcohol abuse and was most recently on probation before the crash. 

Talking about this case, one area chief pointed out his frustration with the judicial system when it comes to drunk drivers, saying the system is too lenient on repeat offenders. 

Regardless of how one feels about the system though, the fact remains that while the judicial system may take certain actions, those injured in a crash may also take their own action, in the form of a lawsuit. An attorney can help explain what legal options may be available and can advise on what next steps to take to pursue compensation.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "Repeat offender shows complex DUI challenges," Ted Gregory, Joe Mahr, Geoff Ziezulewicz, Sept. 10, 2014

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