If the Illinois police suspect a driver is operating a vehicle while intoxicated in violation of the law, they will typically stop the driver to conduct an investigation. While many DUI investigations occur on residential streets, some happen on highways which generally requires the investigating officer and the driver being investigated to pull onto the shoulder of the road. There are risks associated with parking on the shoulder of a highway; namely, there is a danger of being hit by a negligent motorist.
This happened recently when a driver struck the vehicle of an officer that was conducting a DUI investigation on the side of the road. In an unusual turn of events, both the driver that was the subject of the initial investigation and the driver that struck the patrol car were charged with DUI. If you are faced with accusations that you committed a DUI crime, it is prudent to consult an Illinois DUI defense attorney to evaluate what defenses you may be able to argue to avoid a conviction.
Illinois Police Involved in a DUI Accident During the Investigation of a DUI
It is alleged that in December 2021, an Illinois State Trooper pulled a driver over onto the shoulder of a highway in Cook County to conduct a DUI investigation. The trooper activated his emergency lights after he pulled over, and his squad car was fully marked. Nonetheless, a motorist approaching the officer’s vehicle failed to slow down or switch lanes. Instead, she lost control of her car, veered onto the shoulder, and struck the officer’s squad car.
She was subsequently charged with numerous offenses, including DUI. While no injuries were reported initially, it is unclear whether the incident caused any bodily harm. Notably, over twenty Illinois state police vehicles were struck during traffic stops in 2021, causing thirteen state troopers to sustain injuries.
Penalties for DUI Offenses Involving Property Damage
Pursuant to Illinois law, a person can be charged with a DUI offense if they operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or another intoxicating substance or their blood alcohol level is 0.08% or higher. The penalties imposed for a first-time DUI conviction depend on numerous factors, including the driver’s blood alcohol level and whether they caused any other individual to suffer bodily harm. For example, if a DUI collision causes serious bodily injury, it can lead to imprisonment for up to twelve years and fines of up to $25,000.
Contact a Seasoned Illinois DUI Defense Attorney
People faced with DUI charges arising out of collisions face significant penalties if they are convicted, but the state must meet a high burden of proof to establish their guilt. If you are charged with an Illinois DUI offense, it is smart to contact an attorney as soon as possible. Theodore J. Harvatin, of the Harvatin Law Offices, PC, is a seasoned Illinois DUI defense attorney who can set forth persuasive arguments on your behalf to help you seek a favorable result. You can reach Mr. Harvatin through the form online or at 217.525.0520 to set up a conference.