In DUI case, Chicago cop's sobriety t...

In DUI case, Chicago cop's sobriety tests delayed, police say

There are 22 comments on the Chicago Tribune story from May 26, 2009, titled In DUI case, Chicago cop's sobriety tests delayed, police say. In it, Chicago Tribune reports that:

An off-duty Chicago police officer charged with crashing into and killing a 13-year-old boy on a bike wasn't administered a Breathalyzer for four hours after the crash and didn't have blood drawn to test for his sobriety for another eight hours because he initially refused to cooperate, police said Tuesday.

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Since: Nov 07

Elgin, IL

#2 May 26, 2009
Can everyone be forced to take a breathalyser test now or only police officers?
Drunk Po Po

Crown Point, IN

#3 May 26, 2009
This story has a lot of parallels with police officer John Ardelean's case. I hope the Trenton's family doesn't have to go through the emotional rollercoaster that the victim's families in the Ardelean case had to go through.

He refused to take a breathalyzer test. He only took it after almost 8 hours, under the direct orders of a ranking officer. His license should have been suspended for the refusal, but he was out driving just a few weeks after his refusal to blow.

An Illinois State Police expert estimated from the Breathalyzer result that Ardelean’s blood alcohol level during the crash exceeded the limit. But the judge voiced doubt about that estimate and threw out the charges. So what are the chances the same could happen here?

The family of the victims in the Ardelean case were not notified of one or two hearings, including the one where the judge gave back Ardelean his license back - which should have been suspended for refusing to blow. Just as in this case, there was a hearing that was moved and the family not notified - it has happened before - is this to protect the officer?

The case was initially dismissed again Ardelean. Chargers were refiled weeks later, only after a video tape surfaced. Hopefully video shows up just in case.
Chicago

Chicago, IL

#5 May 26, 2009
You can decline at anytime, but you'll lose your license and they can get a court order for your blood. It basically does you no good to refuse.

If he didn't kill anyone, the officer could have refused, but he would have lost his license and would have faced disciplinary action.

As he has killed someone, the proscecutor will be able to use his initial refusal to cooperate against him. Right to remain silent, yes. Right to not give your blood/breath, no. The only exceptions is for those with religious issues (and they generally don't drink).
Graybeard

East Chicago, IN

#6 May 26, 2009
VivianC wrote:
Can everyone be forced to take a breathalyser test now or only police officers?
Nope, joe citizen can refuse and get his license suspended, but if your a cop, administratively, they can order you to take that test. And then the state will use that coerced test in their prosecution against the cop. Yeah, he got special treatment alright.
Drunk Po Po

Crown Point, IN

#7 May 26, 2009
VivianC wrote:
Can everyone be forced to take a breathalyser test now or only police officers?
You have a right to decline the test, but your driving privileges will be suspended.

EXCEPT, there have been times when police departments, more famously Peoria, will conduct a "no-refusal" policy. You will be allowed to decline the Breathalyzer.

Under the “no-refusal policy,” a person arrested for DUI will be given the opportunity to take a Breathalyzer test. If he refuses, the Peoria police will seek a search warrant authorizing the seizure of the arrestee's blood. To do so, the officer will have to submit a petition for a search warrant to a duty judge. The petition must detail facts that would support the issuance an order to force blood withdrawal. If the driver who refused testing physically resists a court-ordered blood test, he can be arrested for Resisting a Peace Officer. A person who has refused initial testing and is subsequently convicted after a court ordered blood test will be charged $545 for that blood test. The police will take a chance until the procedure is constitutionally challenged. I am not aware if there have been any challenges to the "no-refusal" policy. Sounds to me as if the "no-refusal" policy should be automatic for police officers, those entrusted with the public trust, those who carry guns, on and many off-duty. Those who have taken a oath to serve and protect and those who are duty bound to not be intoxicated, either on or off duty.

I am very much against people who DUI. I just don't like that police go around established law.
question

Oak Forest, IL

#8 May 26, 2009
haven't read the story yet... HAD to post NOW!! Does anyone else see the humor in Daley asking if people get "special treatment?" How many of his friends are serving prison terms for "special treatment?" :) Aaah, Chicago politicians! What's next.. O.J. Simpson commenting on Drew Peterson?
Drunk Po Po

Crown Point, IN

#9 May 26, 2009
republican, I will not quote your stupidity, hopefully it is removed by the Tribune, but as a Republican myself, you bring a bad name to our party.

This was a 13 year old child. He did a stupid thing and snuck out, but if parent's are going to be held for their children sneaking out late at night, then it is time to build more jails/prisons. Perhaps a law should be passed that requires parents and their children to sleep on the same bed. Or that the parent must stand guard over their children all night.

Trenton shouldn't have snuck out, but in doing so, he shouldn't have had to pay with his life for a childish act for the criminal behavior of an off-duty police officer.

In reading some of the comments earlier and some of the blog, Second City Cop, it seems like many police and police sympathizers are taking the side of the drunk cop and seeking to find fault with Trenton. I have a brother who is a CPD officer. In stating this, it does not come from somebody who is against the police, I am very much pro police and do not think that the very, very small number of the idiot cops are a bad reflection of the rest of the professionals that serve and protect their city.
Mark Winshel

Walnut Creek, CA

#11 May 26, 2009
So Weis is going to appoint a committee whose job will be to pretend to find ways to eliminate alcohol problems in the CPD.

That is really funny, and since, and as Weis is well aware, if he really wanted to considerably lessen alcoholism problems in the CPD he would have to fire at least half of the present officers in the CPD.

And then as far as hiring replacements for the officers who were just fired due to being alcoholics, anyone who applied for any of the openings, if his family had a history with the CPD, and such as for instance a father, brother, uncle, or grandfather presently or in the past employed by the CPD, then would have to be screened and investigated at least tens as thoroughly as they normally screen applicants, and so as to avoid bringing in a new bunch of alcoholics with drinking problems as extreme or even worse than the alcoholics they just fired.

But of course Weis is not going to do any of that; instead, he is just going to pretend to be interested in solving the department's extreme alcoholism problems.
Michael Shea

Minneapolis, MN

#12 May 26, 2009
In Illinois, there is an "implied consent" law regarding the breathalizer. That means that if you are asked to blow, the very fact that you have a license in your pocket is legally construed as consent, i.e.: you are required to blow.

But you are NOT required to submit to a field sobriety test (walk with one foot in front of the other, say the alphabet backwards, stand on one foot, touch your nose, etc.)

Field sobriety tests are specifically designed to provide the officer with the probable cause they need to justify ordering you to blow. Generally, a completely sober person has a pretty good chance of failing a field sobriety test.

Most people that are stopped for DUI want it to 'go away' right then and there, so they participate in the field sobriety test (hoping to pass) only to be taken back to the cop shop for a blow, which seals their fate. But if they are thinking correctly, they will refuse the field sobriety test, and if asked to blow, then go to the cop shop and blow. Especially if you are not too buzzed. Every cop will say that he smelled the odor of alcohol and that the driver was slurring his words, but if the camera in the front window of the squad car (which is generally there nowadays) shows you to be in reasonable control of your faculties, then probable cause for the blow will be hard to establish in court. So even if they blow dirty (over .08) the blow may very well be not admissable in court because of no probable cause for the cop to ask for the blow.

Of course, if the driver is totally shiite faced, then that will show on the cop's dash camera and probable cause will be established without the field sobriety test.

It's not that I want drunk drivers to get away with it, but the cops are playing with a marked deck and the procedure should be fair. I have lived over 50 years upon this earth in America, and I doubt that I could say the alphabet backwards in my soberest moment...
I do not blow nor DUI

Dolton, IL

#13 May 27, 2009
Michael Shea wrote:
In Illinois, there is an "implied consent" law regarding the breathalizer. That means that if you are asked to blow, the very fact that you have a license in your pocket is legally construed as consent, i.e.: you are required to blow.
But you are NOT required to submit to a field sobriety test (walk with one foot in front of the other, say the alphabet backwards, stand on one foot, touch your nose, etc.)
Field sobriety tests are specifically designed to provide the officer with the probable cause they need to justify ordering you to blow. Generally, a completely sober person has a pretty good chance of failing a field sobriety test.
Most people that are stopped for DUI want it to 'go away' right then and there, so they participate in the field sobriety test (hoping to pass) only to be taken back to the cop shop for a blow, which seals their fate. But if they are thinking correctly, they will refuse the field sobriety test, and if asked to blow, then go to the cop shop and blow. Especially if you are not too buzzed. Every cop will say that he smelled the odor of alcohol and that the driver was slurring his words, but if the camera in the front window of the squad car (which is generally there nowadays) shows you to be in reasonable control of your faculties, then probable cause for the blow will be hard to establish in court. So even if they blow dirty (over .08) the blow may very well be not admissable in court because of no probable cause for the cop to ask for the blow.
Of course, if the driver is totally shiite faced, then that will show on the cop's dash camera and probable cause will be established without the field sobriety test.
It's not that I want drunk drivers to get away with it, but the cops are playing with a marked deck and the procedure should be fair. I have lived over 50 years upon this earth in America, and I doubt that I could say the alphabet backwards in my soberest moment...
Thanks. That is good information, but I thought blowing was optional, with refusal meaning automatic license suspension. Yes, I hate drunk drivers and the risks they put themselves in and others. But a cop can nail you on anything he wants, and I know I couldn't recite the alphabet backwards without a lot of time and thought.

Attorney friends have always told our group of friends to never blow, first they say to never drive drunk, but if you are pulled over on suspicion, never blow.(Usually they insert a joke to the girls that a blow to the officer might get them out). I'll go over this posting with them.
Joe American

Indianapolis, IN

#15 May 27, 2009
Funny how when law enforcement or politicians get arrested for DUI, some sort of procedural problem usually occurs that makes it difficult to prove the case in court. Its just one law enforcement hand scratching another member's back. CORRUPTION!
tom

United States

#16 May 27, 2009
If this clown was guilty or not I am amazed at the negitive attitude towards the police. On the average most folks today have little to no respect for the police no matter what they do, me included. WHY?
det harry callahan

United States

#17 May 27, 2009
No need to worry. Mayor Dick is calling for an investigation. He's on the case - unless of course it involves city contracts or if it might bounce back to him. He had the same indignation when the kid went out in a patrol car right under the cops' nose.

"Dis is outrageous. We need accountability over dere." What a joke. Sure, someone will be hung out to dry. And while your looking in that direction Dick's boys are setting up another TIF giveaway for themselves. What a joke.
K-9 Handler

United States

#18 May 27, 2009
There is no IL law yet requiring drivers blow. There is a statutory summary suspension (SSS), the length of which depends on if a person submits to the requested chemical tests (blood, breath, urine) and is not affected by the result of those tests. That kicks in 45 days from time of arrest. Then there are the regular penalties. The implied consent law mentioned is correct, that is what allows the penalties for refusing.

A person can refuse for as many hours as they want and then decide to submit, however as for the SSS that still gets checked as a refusal and the results get taken into account anyway. Based on his level of .079 post crash, he would have likely been at .159 a the time of the crash, based on the court and science accepted metabolism rate.

In crashes involving fatalities, IL law allows a forced draw. That meaning the driver is asked, and again can refuse for the SSS, however state law says cops can take blood or urine whether or not they want to submit. The hardest part is getting the hospitals to take it if the driver is unwilling, because they're worried about their administration. So, typically a warrant has to be gotten from a judge, then brought to the hospital, which takes a little time.
Hmm

Oak Park, IL

#19 May 27, 2009
Michael Shea wrote:
In Illinois, there is an "implied consent" law regarding the breathalizer. That means that if you are asked to blow, the very fact that you have a license in your pocket is legally construed as consent, i.e.: you are required to blow.
But you are NOT required to submit to a field sobriety test (walk with one foot in front of the other, say the alphabet backwards, stand on one foot, touch your nose, etc.)
Field sobriety tests are specifically designed to provide the officer with the probable cause they need to justify ordering you to blow. Generally, a completely sober person has a pretty good chance of failing a field sobriety test.
Most people that are stopped for DUI want it to 'go away' right then and there, so they participate in the field sobriety test (hoping to pass) only to be taken back to the cop shop for a blow, which seals their fate. But if they are thinking correctly, they will refuse the field sobriety test, and if asked to blow, then go to the cop shop and blow. Especially if you are not too buzzed. Every cop will say that he smelled the odor of alcohol and that the driver was slurring his words, but if the camera in the front window of the squad car (which is generally there nowadays) shows you to be in reasonable control of your faculties, then probable cause for the blow will be hard to establish in court. So even if they blow dirty (over .08) the blow may very well be not admissable in court because of no probable cause for the cop to ask for the blow.
Of course, if the driver is totally shiite faced, then that will show on the cop's dash camera and probable cause will be established without the field sobriety test.
It's not that I want drunk drivers to get away with it, but the cops are playing with a marked deck and the procedure should be fair. I have lived over 50 years upon this earth in America, and I doubt that I could say the alphabet backwards in my soberest moment...
If they smell alcohol on your breath, coupled with bad driving, that gives probable cause. The field sobriety test just gives more probable cause, but it is not needed. They then have you blow on site to get an initial reading. If its over, they take you back to the station and have you blow again. This way they have two records which is hard to refute. If they only have you blow once, you can get out of it by saying the machine was improperly calibrated or there was no verification.
Citizen

Plano, TX

#20 May 27, 2009
What is the status of the Alderman Dixon case (DUI and Obstruction)?? The Alderman also refused a breath test. I am anticipating a corrupt judge or prosecutor looking the other way because of the privilege of office. The Alderman Dixon case should be tried by the State; otherwise I am afraid corruption will prevail.
RJinchi

Chicago, IL

#21 May 27, 2009
Yes, the Chicago PD gave one of their own special treatment - again.
Frank

United States

#22 May 27, 2009
Ald dixon was let off last week by the judge after he ruled the cop goofed by ordering her to drive away several times before she was arrested for DUI
Outraged Citizen

Ada, OK

#23 May 27, 2009
This is an outrage because had it been a normal citizen, they would have been arrested right then and there. Had "we" the citizen refused the breathalyzer, that is immediate grounds for car impound and arrest. This is very much favoritism and clearly a cover-up!! This case should be immediately investigated. My condolences to the family of the 13 year old child who lost his life because of this officers negligence. The guy was driving on the wrong way on a one way!! Geesh!!!
lanza

Chicago, IL

#24 May 27, 2009
surprised?

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