Daily Archives: January 24, 2009
What happens when cops, prosecutors and judges get busted for drunk driving? A sampler from the past 3 days’ news…
Officer Not Charged with DUI
Pekin, IL. Jan. 23 – A Pekin police officer arrested for DUI on Dec. 19 will not be charged with DUI because of a lack of evidence.
Patrolman Andrew J. Thompson, 29, of Pekin, had just left a bar on Broadway Road, Pekin, when he was rear-ended by another car sliding on the ice at Broadway Road and North 20th Street.
A Pekin police officer at the scene noticed the odor of alcohol coming from Thompson and notified the commanding officer.
Thompson refused all alcohol testing — both field sobriety and a Breathalyzer test…
“Without admitting that he was intoxicated on the night in question, he has taken responsibility for his actions and both Mr. Thompson and the city of Pekin Police Department are completely satisfied with the resolution of this matter,” said (his attorney Brian) Addy…
Illinois Secretary of State Attorney Jay Mesi said the Secretary of State’s Office cannot suspend a license for failure to submit to drug or alcohol testing unless the arresting agency sends a sworn report of the refusal to submit to testing.
“We can’t suspend unless we get that sworn report. The officer is required to send the report to us and the circuit clerk.”
Hmmm…What about prosecutors?
Ex-Prosecuter Avoids Jail Time for her Second DUI
Tampa, FL. Jan. 23 – Although Florida state law calls for a mandatory 10 days in jail if someone is arrested twice for driving under the influence (DUI) within five years, former Pinellas-Pasco Counties prosecutor Lydia Dempsey Wardell has walked.
Wardell is the former supervisor of state attorney Bernie McCabe’s drunk driving division.
Wardell, 41, had been arrested in July 2008 for DUI, the second time in less than four years after she left the scene of an accident.
Police had said that Wardell was driving a Ford Explorer which a witness said struck the bumper of a parked 2000 Mercedes in a parking lot and left the scene. The witness gave police the a description of the vehicle and license plate number and Wardell was stopped by police a short distance away. Police said the damage on Wardell’s vehicle matched that of sustained to the Mercedes.
Police said that Wardell refused to take a blood alcohol test and failed field sobriety tests.
Okaaaay….So what happens to judges who get caught driving drunk?
Judge Gets Supervision, Fine in DUI Guilty Plea
Chicago, IL. Jan. 12 – With the nation’s focus on Washington, a Cook County judge pleaded guilty Tuesday in a south suburban courtroom to a drunken driving charge stemming from a traffic collision.
Judge Sheila McGinnis’ attorney asked for the Jan. 20 hearing date — but denied it was timed to coincide with President Obama’s inauguration in hopes of downplaying news of her conviction and sentence.
"I had no idea when the inauguration was," said defense attorney Jeffrey Aprati, who asked for the hearing date two months ago. "I wanted to watch the inauguration."
McGinnis was sentenced to 18 months of court supervision and a $1,000 fine…
Before her sentencing, McGinnis, a cousin of Mayor Daley, apologized in court for taking the wheel after drinking last May and rear-ending a minivan stopped at a red light in Tinley Park. No one was injured.
Other motorists told police she was weaving and honking at other drivers before the 7:30 p.m. crash. With her head on the steering wheel, she continued trying to drive after the collision, police said.
McGinnis was hearing misdemeanor cases at the Bridgeview Courthouse when she was arrested, but her DUI case was transferred to the Markham courthouse after her attorney argued it would have been "embarrassing" for McGinnis to stand trial in the courthouse where she worked.
In each case, the cop, prosecutor and judge was intoxicated, involved in an accident — and refused to take a breath test. For you and me, that would add up to a lengthy jail sentence and a long license suspension. But then, we’re just ordinary citizens…