Bob Avellini, Chicago Bears quarterback from 1975 to 1984, was sentenced last month to 18 months in prison for an aggravated DUI. Avellini agreed to plead guilty in exchange for the sentence. Had he not taken the plea, Avellini could have been sentenced to up to seven years for the felony DUI. DuPage County judge Daniel Guerin ordered Avellini to commence serving his sentence on December 1 of this year.
In September 2013, 61-year-old Avellini was charged with a felony DUI and a probation violation when police stopped him near his Roselle home. According to the police, he smelled of alcohol, had “glassy bloodshot eyes” and slurred speech, and had a blood alcohol level of .181, more than twice what is legally permissible. He was just nine days into serving a 2002 DUI conviction, which involved a license suspension. Since 2002, Avellini has been arrested for six DUIs and has been convicted of three according to court records.
One of Avellini’s attorneys, David Spada, said that Avellini suffers from depression and post-concussive syndrome as a result of brain trauma incurred while playing football. Spada claims the depression likely contributes to Avellini’s issues with substance abuse.
As a condition of bond, Avellini was ordered to wear an ankle device detecting his alcohol consumption. This spring, however, Avellini’s attorneys alleged that the ankle monitor caused a rash on his leg, and Judge Guerin allowed its removal in exchange for both regular and surprise testing.
Avellini recently filed suit in California against the Bears, seeking compensation for injuries suffered during his athletic career. While his Bears career ended in 1984, California allows former athletes to make compensation claims based on cumulative injuries, regardless of where the injury occurred. Likewise, Illinois also allows individuals to file suit for cumulative trauma claims, so Avellini could have alternatively chosen to file his lawsuit in the state in which he claimed to have sustained his injuries. His attorneys had to seek a continuance in his DUI case so that he could travel to California to testify. Avellini filed for bankruptcy protection in 2012 in Chicago federal court, citing liabilities of more than $2.2 million and assets of about $1.3 million.
Since his 2013 arrest, Avellini has completed an alcohol treatment program in Florida as well a local program. According to his attorneys, Avellini has made “substantial progress” towards completing 300 hours of community service as ordered in his 2012 sentence. Spada said Avellini plans to seek continued treatment for his medical problems when he is released from prison. With good behavior, Avellini could be out in less than a year.
If you have been charged with a DUI crime in Illinois, it is crucial to speak to an experienced Illinois DUI, DWI, or drunk driving lawyer as soon as possible. Harvatin Law Offices, PC provides knowledgeable representation for those in Springfield and throughout Illinois. We have considerable experience defending individuals charged with DUI offenses. To learn more and to set up a free initial consultation, contact us online or call us at 217.525.0520.
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