A driver who was charged with DUI allegedly collided with a state trooper’s car that was stopped on Eisenhower Expressway in Chicago a week ago. The motor vehicle accident occurred at approximately 12:05 a.m. in the westbound lanes of Harlem Avenue.
John Salvador, 69, of Westchester, allegedly crashed into the Illinois state trooper’s vehicle as it was stopped in the middle lane while the trooper investigated a car fire on the Expressway. Both the trooper and the victim of the car fire were in the trooper’s vehicle when the rear-end collision occurred.
All three were taken to area hospitals for the treatment of non life-threatening injures.
Salvador was charged with aggravated DUI, driving without a license in an uninsured vehicle, failure to reduce speed, following too closely, not wearing a seatbelt and violating Scott’s Law.
Severe penalties for driving offenses in Illinois
The penalties for DUI in Illinois are extremely strict in Illinois, even for first offenders. Refusal to submit to a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test will result in a one-year automatic suspension of the individual’s driver’s license, the duration of which will increase with each successive offense.
Because Illinois requires all drivers to have liability coverage for bodily injury or property damage, the penalties for driving without insurance are severe, and can include license revocation and fines. Driving without a seatbelt will incur fines, and operating a vehicle without a license is a misdemeanor that can include fines and a jail sentence.
However, probably the most serious offense that the driver in the car accident described above is accused of is the violation of Scott’s Law. Called the “Move Over” law, it was named in honor of an employee of the Chicago Fire Department, Scott Gillen, who was struck and killed in a DUI accident on the Chicago Expressway.
The law mandates that in the presence of flashing warning lights, drivers must slow down, approach with caution and move over to another lane. Penalties include fines of up to $10,000.
Fighting penalties for multiple charges
Mounting a defense of multiple charges, especially if the accident involved a collision with a law enforcement vehicle, requires skilled and aggressive legal representation. Finding holes in the evidence gathered at the scene, investigating if you were informed of your rights and questioning the validity of the sobriety test or the arrest procedures can result in some charges being dropped or fines lessened. It is important to have someone on your side who will fight to minimize the damage done if possible.