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Man charged with Joliet hit-and-run four years after the fact

On February 27, 2012, a man came to the door of a woman he did not know. He confessed that on August 7, 2008, he had run down the woman’s sister with his car, causing serious injuries that led to her death, after which he fled the scene. The woman quickly died of her injuries.

Approximately 18 months after the hit-and-run, the man was charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI). In that case, he pleaded guilty to reckless driving and was ordered to obtain a drug and alcohol evaluation and complete treatment for alcohol abuse and mental health issues.

The minimum number of alcohol treatment hours you must complete after a DUI offense is set by rules established by the State of Illinois, Department of Human Services, Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse (DASA) in close coordination with the Illinois Secretary of State and DUI judges throughout the state. Keep in mind that these are the minimum requirements, and the person conducting the evaluation may require more hours.

DASA rules mandate that the lowest risk level, known as “minimal risk” requires completion of a 10-hour Driver Risk Education (DRE) course designed to educate you on the dangers of drinking and driving and the physical effects of alcohol (primarily how much you can drink before you are considered under the law to be legally impaired to drive). The following facts must be present in order to fall into the minimal risk category:

1) this is your first DUI arrest;
2) you submitted to a blood or breath test;
3) your blood alcohol content (BAC) was under .15; and
4) you have no symptoms of abuse or dependency. Title 77 Illinois Administrative Code §2060.101 and Title 92 Illinois Administrative Code §1001.10 and following.

The next classification level is “moderate risk”. The minimum moderate risk requirements are completion of DRE and 12-hours of early intervention in an effort to eliminate any future alcohol problems that could lead to another DUI.

Under the DASA protocol, you may be moderate risk only if:

1) this is your first DUI offense;
2) you either do not agree to give a blood or breath test or register at least .15 but under .20; and
3) you have no abuse or dependency symptoms.

The third risk level is “significant risk”. You must complete DRE and 20 hours of alcohol counseling which is designed to get your alcohol abuse problem under control.

If any or all of the following situations apply, you are at least significant risk:

1) Two DUI arrests; OR
2) A BAC of .20 or higher (even if you only have one arrest); OR
3) Any abuse or dependency symptoms (even if this is your only arrest).

The final risk category is high risk. You must complete 75 hours of intensive alcohol treatment or an inpatient program.

High risk dependent occurs if you have 3 or more dependency symptoms, regardless of whether you have any previous DUI arrests and regardless of BAC readings. High risk non dependent applies only if you have experienced fewer than 3 dependency symptoms and have had two DUI arrests within a period of 10 or fewer years from the most recent DUI arrest (in essence, 3 DUIS in 10 or fewer years).

DUI is a crime prohibited by 735 ILCS 5/11-501. A first offense conviction with no aggravating factors is a Class-A misdemeanor. Therefore, a conviction can result in a fine of up to $2,500 and/or as much as 364 days in the county jail. 730 ILCS 5/5-4.5-5.5 A conviction will also lead to a driver’s license revocation.

Leaving the scene of an accident (“hit and run”) is, as DUI, a crime. 625 ILCS 5/11-401. It is a felony if there is a death. The interesting aspect of this Joliet case is that the accused confessed 4 years after the offense.

In general, the statute of limitations (the time in which a complaint must be filed following the commission of an offense) is 3 years. 720 ILCS 5/3-5(b). However, in addition to offenses such as murder, treason, rape, child pornography and leaving the scene of an accident. 720 ILCS 5/3-5(a)

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