Changes To McHenry County Drunk Driving Testing

McHenry County Drunk Driving Accidents

Accidents in which the driver is impaired by alcohol usage or, increasingly, when the driver is drug-impaired continue to happen in significant numbers.  On this site, McHenry County accidents which involve impaired driving can be found in posts found under the “DUI” category.   As seen in those crashes, impaired driving often causes serious accident injuries and in some cases fatalities.

In an effort to deter drunk driving – especially that done by “repeat offenders” – there has been a recently announced change in policy with regard to DUI testing by police departments in McHenry County.  The changes are discussed in a variety of media sources, including the April 13 Chicago Tribune article titled “New DUI policy:  Refuse breath test, cop will seek instant warrant for blood test” as well as the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office press release titled “Police Departments in McHenry County Instituting a ‘No Refusal’ DUI Policy.”

Notable excerpts from the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office press release:

Starting April 15, 2018, the Algonquin, Cary, Harvard, Huntley Johnsburg, Lake in the Hills, McHenry, Spring Grove, and Woodstock Police Departments, in collaboration with the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office, will institute a new policy whereby a warrant for a blood draw will be obtained for any DUI suspect that refuses breathalyzer testing.

also:

While DUI suspects face severe civil penalties, such as suspension of driving privileges, if they refuse breathalyzer testing, police cannot generally require or physically force a suspect to submit.  As such, many DUI suspects, mostly those who subjectively believe their blood alcohol concentration to be above the legal limit of 0.08 g/dL, often attempt to obstruct a DUI investigation by refusing to submit to breathalyzer testing. This is especially true of repeat DUI offenders.  Refusal is done in an effort to ensure that breathalyzer results cannot be used in a subsequent criminal prosecution.

The new policy will no longer allow DUI suspects to undermine criminal prosecutions in this way.  Rather, should a DUI suspect refuse breathalyzer testing, a warrant will be sought allowing police to draw the suspect’s blood.  Should the warrant be granted, the suspect will be transported to a nearby emergency room where his/her blood will be drawn and tested for blood alcohol concentration.  This policy will ensure that prosecutors are equipped with the strongest possible evidence in court and, thereby, that all DUI offenders are held accountable.

Additional Details Regarding This New McHenry County DUI Testing Policy 

Additional details concerning this new drunk driving testing can be seen in the sources mentioned above.

Categories DUI

Driver Charged With DUI After Unincorporated Seneca Township Crash

Driver Charged With DUI After Fatal McHenry County Crash

There was a fatal single-car accident in unincorporated Seneca Township on Sunday (February 25, 2018) night.  The crash led to the death of a passenger in the car, and the driver was subsequently charged with DUI.

According to information provided by the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office (in a February 26, 2018 media release titled “Fatal Traffic Crash / Aggravated DUI“) various first responders in the area responded to the accident at 7:35 p.m.  The accident scene was in the 17600 block of Kishwaukee Valley Road.

The preliminary accident investigation indicates that a 2012 Hyundai Veloster was traveling westbound on Kishwaukee Valley Road, left the roadway at Mckinstrey Road, and subsequently hit a tree.  A 29-year-old female, identified as Ilian Gonzalez, of Rockford, was a passenger in the car.  She was trapped in the car during the crash and died at the accident scene.

The driver, a 30-year old male later identified as Jose Loredo, 30, of Rockford, was taken to Centegra Hospital in Huntley for treatment of his accident injuries.  Those injuries were considered to be non-life-threatening in nature.

At the time of the accident seatbelts were worn and there was front airbag deployment.

An excerpt from the media release mentioned above:

The driver was charged with failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, DUI alcohol, and aggravated DUI involving death.  The investigation is ongoing by the McHenry County Coroner’s Office and the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office Major Crash Investigation Unit.

Additional Details Regarding This Fatal McHenry County Crash

Additional details and possible updates concerning this fatal McHenry County car crash with DUI charges can be seen in various media sources, including the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office media release mentioned above as well as the February 27 Crystal Lake Patch article titled “Driver In Fatal Crash Charged With Aggravated DUI.”

Categories DUI

Crystal Lake February 2018 Traffic Safety Enforcement Initiative

McHenry County Drunk Driving 

Drunk driving continues to be a significant traffic safety concern both nationally as well as in the Chicago area, including in McHenry County.  On this site, drunk driving crashes that involve injuries (as well as crashes involving drivers impaired by drugs, i.e. “drugged drivers”) are summarized in posts under the “DUI” category.

Drunk driving is often more frequent during various times of the year, such as during holiday periods as well as around major sporting events, such as the Super Bowl.

The Crystal Lake Police released the results of a special enforcement effort that occurred over the Super Bowl weekend.  The effort occurred from February 2 – February 4, and during this period various issues with regard to Crystal Lake traffic safety were monitored.  These issues included drunk and drugged driving, speeding, seat belt usage, and other infractions.  [On this site, a discussion of the safety benefits of wearing seat belts is seen on the “Seat Belt Usage Safety Benefits” page.]

An excerpt regarding the results from the special traffic safety enforcement effort, from the February 7, 2018 Crystal Lake Patch article titled “Twenty Nine Cited During Super Bowl Traffic Enforcement Effort“:

The Crystal Lake Police Department participated in the Illinois Department of Transportation’s (IDOT) Sustained Traffic Enforcement Program conducted during this past Super Bowl weekend. Law enforcement agencies throughout Illinois participated in this statewide effort from February 2 through February 4 to save lives by encouraging motorists to refrain from drinking and driving and to buckle up during late-night hours.

As seen in the article, there were citations issued for a variety of actions, including speeding, open alcohol, and a seat belt violation.

Additional Details Regarding This Special Traffic Safety Enforcement

Additional details regarding the special enforcement results, as well as the overall issue of drunk driving and drugged driving in McHenry County, can be seen in the sources mentioned above.

Categories DUI

DUI Charges Filed Against Driver Following Fatal McHenry Crash

Fatal McHenry County Car Crash

There was a fatal car crash December 26, 2017 in McHenry.  The crash, after which the driver was charged with DUI, happened in the 6500 block of Route 120.

According to McHenry Police and the McHenry County Coroner’s Office, first responders went to the accident scene at 12:26 a.m.  The crash involved a 2013 Ford Fusion, that was traveling westbound, leaving the roadway and striking a utility pole.

The driver, identified as Eduardo Jose Figueroa-Martinez, 20, and his passenger, 22-year-old Jose Luis Ortiz Reyes, were taken to Centegra Northern Illinois Medical Center in McHenry for treatment of their accident injuries.

Reyes was declared dead at the hospital.  He had been ejected from the vehicle during the crash.  A subsequent autopsy revealed that he died from blunt force trauma to the chest and abdomen.

An excerpt from the Chicago Sun-Times article of January 2, 2018 titled “Man charged with felony DUI in fatal McHenry crash“:

After being released from the hospital, Martinez, of McHenry, was taken into custody and charged with felony counts of aggravated driving under the influence causing a person’s death and aggravated driving under the influence without a valid driver’s license, police said.

Additional Details Regarding This Fatal McHenry County Crash

Additional details and possible updates concerning this fatal McHenry County crash can be seen in a variety of media sources, including the article mentioned above as well as the December 28 Northwest Herald article titled “Coroner identifies 22-year-old Wonder Lake man killed in McHenry crash.”

Categories DUI

Crash In Unincorporated Burton Township Critically Injures Man

Single-Vehicle Crash In Unincorporated Burton Township

There was a single-vehicle crash Tuesday afternoon (November 28, 2017) that critically injured the driver of a Jeep Cherokee SUV.  The accident occurred in unincorporated Burton Township and involved a the Jeep leaving the roadway.

An excerpt regarding the accident, from the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office, in a November 29, 2017 media release titled “Sheriff’s Office Investigates Single Vehicle Traffic Crash,”

On Tuesday, November 28,at 2:19 p.m. a 2001 Jeep Cherokee SUV was traveling northbound on State Park Road and was negotiating the curve onto westbound Main Street Road when for unknown reasons it veered off the roadway and struck a tree.

The driver of the Jeep, Joshua Fauser, was trapped in the vehicle and had to be extricated by rescue personnel.  He was transported by Flight for Life to Advocate Condell Medical Center, where he is listed in critical condition.

According to the media release, the preliminary accident investigation “revealed alcohol and controlled substances are a contributing factor to the crash.”  [note:  on this site accidents in which drivers are drug-impaired is discussed on the “Car Accidents Caused By Drug-Impaired Drivers” page.  As seen on that page mixing alcohol and drugs can have an increased effect on impairment.]

At the time of the accident Fauser was not wearing a seat belt.

An excerpt from the November 29 Lake County News-Sun article titled “Spring Grove man whose SUV hit tree in critical condition after extrication, charged with DUI“:

Fauser was subsequently charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and driving under the combined influence of alcohol and drugs, which investigators say were contributing factors to the crash, according to the release.

The accident investigation is ongoing and is being conducted by the McHenry County Sheriff’s Traffic Crash Investigation Unit.

Additional Details Regarding This McHenry County Crash

Additional details and possible updates concerning this McHenry County accident can be seen in a variety of media sources, including the media release and article mentioned above.

Categories DUI

Four-Vehicle Chain-Reaction Crash In Algonquin

McHenry County Car Accident

There was a four-vehicle accident on Friday night (December 18, 2015) in Algonquin.

A car was “rear-ended” which led to a “chain-reaction crash.” The Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District went to the accident scene at Algonquin Road near Sandbloom Road at approximately 5:15 p.m.

An excerpt from the Northwest Herald article of December 18, 2015 article titled “Huntley woman charged with DUI in Algonquin crash“:

Algonquin Police Department Sgt. Paul Riese said 54-year-old Sandra Sidlo of Huntley struck a car while it was stopped in eastbound traffic on Algonquin Road. That crash caused a chain reaction in which two other cars stopped in traffic were hit, Riese said.

Sidlo was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.

She was taken to Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington for treatment of her accident injuries, which were described as “minor injuries.”  No other people involved in the accident were injured.

Additional Details Regarding This McHenry County Crash

Additional details and possible updates regarding this McHenry County crash can be seen in a variety of media sources, including the Northwest Herald article mentioned above, as well as the December 20 Crystal Lake-Cary Patch article titled “Huntley Woman Charged With DUI in Four-Vehicle Crash in Algonquin.”

Categories DUI

Single-Car Crash In Ringwood

Single-Car Crash In McHenry County

There was a car accident early Wednesday morning (December 9, 2015) in Ringwood.

According to the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office, the accident happened at approximately 3:10 a.m.  The accident happened when a 2003 Ford Explorer northbound on Ringwood Road crossed the center line and collided with a utility pole.

When first responders arrived at the accident scene near Ringwood Road and Monroe Street, they found the driver of the Explorer pinned in the vehicle.  After extrication, the man was flown to Centegra Hospital in McHenry for treatment of his accident injuries, which included a critical head injury.

The driver was identified as Steven J. Bottcher, 24, of Richmond.

An excerpt from the December 9, 2015 Northwest Herald article titled “Richmond man critically injured in Ringwood crash cited for DUI“, quoting McHenry County Sheriff’s Deputy Aimee Knop:

Knop said police cited Bottcher for driving under the influence of drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia, failure to reduce speed, operating an uninsured motor vehicle and driving on a revoked license.

Additional Details Concerning This McHenry County Crash

Additional details and possible updates concerning this McHenry County crash can be seen in a variety of media sources, including the Northwest Herald article mentioned above, as well as the December 9 Crystal Lake-Cary Patch article titled “Crash Critically Injured One in Rural McHenry County.”

Categories DUI

St. Patrick’s Day DUI Enforcement Efforts

Drunk Driving Accidents In McHenry County

Drunk driving accidents in McHenry County, as well as throughout Illinois, remain a cause for concern.  The topic is further discussed in the McHenry County Drunk Driving Accidents page.

Many drunk driving accidents occur during and around major holiday weekends.  As such, enforcement efforts are often targeted around these dates.

On March 12, 2015, the Illinois Department of Transportation issued a news release titled “IDOT, Illinois State Police, Local Law Enforcement:  Luck Alone Will Not Get You Home on St. Patricks’s Day.” (pdf)

An excerpt:

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Illinois State Police (ISP) are partnering with nearly 200 local law enforcement agencies throughout the state this weekend and through St. Patrick’s Day to  encourage everyone celebrating to act responsibly and designate a sober driver. No amount of luck can save you from a drunk-driving crash. Everyone must do their part to help keep roads safe this St. Patrick’s Day. The message is simple – Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.

Here are the unlucky statistics:

  • In the last ten years (2005-2014), 30 people lost their lives in motor-vehicle crashes on March 17 (12:00 a.m.-11:59 p.m.). Eleven of those deaths involved a driver who had been drinking.
  • When celebrations fall on the weekend directly before or afterMarch 17, typically there are more St. Patrick’s Day celebrations and potentially more impaired drivers on the roads. Last year in Illinois, March 17 occurred on a Monday, with the majority of St. Patrick’s Day activities happening between Friday, March 14, and the early-morning hours of Tuesday, March 18. During that timeframe, four people died in motor vehicle crashes, with one of those deaths involving an impaired driver.

Additional Details Regarding St. Patrick’s Day Enforcement Efforts

Additional details, including safety tips for those hosting and attending parties, can be seen in the IDOT news release mentioned above.

Categories DUI

Drunk Driving In McHenry County

Drinking While Driving In Illinois And McHenry County

Accidents caused by intoxicated motorists (DUI) continues to be a problematical issue in Illinois as well as nationally.  According to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) 2013 Illinois Crash Facts and Statistics (pdf) report, of the 895 fatal crashes in Illinois in 2013, 33.2% involved alcohol.  Of course, there were additional non-fatal crashes involving drivers who were intoxicated.

Drunk driving accidents in McHenry County are broadly discussed in the McHenry County Drunk Driving Accidents page, and specific accidents involving DUI charges are seen in the DUI category.

The reasons and contributing factors for these alcohol-related accidents are many.  There have been various steps taken to try to reduce drinking while driving, including increased enforcement efforts.

However, there remain reasons for concern over the way in which Illinois drunk drivers are handled and processed.  On February 28, 2015 the Chicago Tribune published an article titled “DUI paperwork mistakes allow thousands of drivers back on Illinois roads.”

An excerpt from the article:

Bureaucratic mix-ups have let thousands of drunken drivers avoid mandatory license suspensions and stay on the roads, a Tribune investigation has found.

In addition to discussing the issue, the article also provides various statistics regarding the problem.

Categories DUI

Driver Charged With DUI After Crystal Lake Accident

McHenry County Crash Leads To DUI Charge

A crash happened at approximately 2:17 a.m. Sunday (February 8, 2015) in Crystal Lake, IL.

The crash happened at the intersection of Route 176 and Oak Street in Crystal Lake, and involved two vehicles.  According to police, one of the vehicles, a 1996 Chevrolet Trailblazer, failed to stop at a stop sign and collided with a 2000 Saab.  The Saab then hit a traffic light and utility pole.

The Trailblazer was driven by Ruben Zendejas, 24, of Hoffman Estates. Zendejas sustained minor injuries and was taken to Centegra Hospital in Woodstock where he was treated and released.  According to the Crystal Lake Police Department, he was charged with aggravated DUI and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

A 22-year-old man from Algonquin who was a passenger in the Saab,  Brandon Ferreira, 22, of Algonquin, sustained serious accident injuries.  After being extricated from the vehicle, he was taken to Centegra Hospital in McHenry.

An excerpt from the February 9, 2015 Northwest Herald article titled “Hoffman Estates man charged with DUI in crash injuring Algonquin man“:

Dale Finucane, Ferreira’s stepfather, said Ferreira was transported to Northwestern Hospital in Chicago early Sunday where he underwent surgery to repair a broken and dislocated neck. Finucane said his stepson has movement in his arms but cannot grip his hands and has no movement below his chest.

The crash remains under investigation by the Crystal Lake Police Department.

Additional Details Regarding This McHenry County Collision

Additional details and possible updates concerning this McHenry County collision can be seen in the Northwest Herald article mentioned above, as well as the February 9 Crystal Lake-Cary Patch article titled “Algonquin Man Seriously Injured in Crystal Lake DUI Crash:  Police.”

Categories DUI