Illinois Woman Charged With DUI While Celebrating the Reinstatement of her License from Previous DUI Conviction

CC image Wikipedia.org58-year old Erin James had a little too much fun on Friday when she was out celebrating the reinstatement of her driver’s license, which had been revoked because of a previous drunk driving conviction.  James had a few too many alcoholic beverages, and then decided to get behind the wheel and drive home.

Unfortunately for James, she pressed the pedal to the metal during her drive, and authorities stopped her for speeding.  James consented to a breathalyzer where she blew a .155, nearly twice the legal limit in Illinois.  She was ultimately booked on DUI charges.

In addition to the DUI charge, James was cited for failing to equip her vehicle with a breath alcohol Ignition Interlock Device.  James was required by law to install an IID under the conditions of her initial DUI conviction.

“The fact that she was driving a vehicle not equipped with a BAIID shows that she had every intent of drinking and getting behind the wheel,” Riverside Police Chief Tom Weitzel said in statement.

James originally had her license suspended in 2012 after an arrest for drunk driving in North Riverside.  When she was pulled over Friday, she told the officer on the scene she was out celebrating the imminent return of her license.

Odds are James will need to wait a lot longer until her license is reinstated this time around.

Defense Attorney Miriam Szatrowzski comments

Sadly, many people who get DUIs have serious alcohol problems, and the mandatory treatment for the first DUI is not enough to overcome them. Others just don’t make very good decisions.

Either way, since this is her second DUI, she will face more serious penalties, both in the criminal court and with her driver’s license. In the criminal case, she will not be eligible for supervision, so if found guilty she will get a conviction on her record. If this happens, she will probably get probation, but many judges will also give people jail time for second offenses. She is also facing a mandatory minimum of five days in jail or 240 hours of community service because it is a second DUI. She is lucky that she only blew a .155 and not a .16, because blowing twice the limit adds in extra penalties. In this case, it would add a mandatory two days in jail and $1,250 in fines. As for her driver’s license, if she is convicted, her license will be revoked for a minimum of one year, and she will have to get treatment and have a hearing in order to get her driving privileges restored.

Hopefully, she will never do this a third time, or she will be charged with a felony and may end up with a prison sentence.

Related source: Chicago Tribune

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