Illinois Police Add DUI Patrols For Thanksgiving Weekend

Drunk TurkeyThe night before Thanksgiving is often one of the most popular drinking nights of the year, and Illinois police are taking extra measures to cut down on the number of drunk drivers.

Thanksgiving and Black Friday are two of the more well-known days on the extended holiday weekend, but it’s tonight -Blackout Wednesday as it is known by some young people – that is of the most concern to local police.

“Obviously stores will be busy, we have plenty of establishments here which will be serving liquor,” said Batavia police director Kevin Bretz. “But we’re prepared for anything that comes up.”

Batavia police aren’t the only ones amping up their DUI patrols. Similar to years past, Kane County will be conducting a “No Refusal” program. Under normal circumstances, a person does not need to submit to a blood or breath test unless they give consent or an officer presents the suspect with a warrant. A warrant typically takes a few hours to be approved by a judge, but tonight and through this weekend judges will be available to sign off on search warrants around the clock. This means suspected drunk drivers will be required to submit to a test once presented with a search warrant or face the consequences.

The Geneva Police Department is also letting residents know that’s they’ll be stepping up DUI patrols. The department will have two extra squad cars out on the roads between 9 p.m. Wednesday and 3 a.m Thursday to catch any patrons who drive home from the bar when they should be in a cab.

“The purpose is to be proactive and hopefully deter poor decisions on the part of drivers,” said Geneva patrol operations commander Julie Nash.

Added police presence and better decisions from drivers should help reduce the number of fatal and non-fatal accidents this holiday weekend. Last year seven people died in car accidents during Thanksgiving weekend, and three of those crashes involved a drunk driver. In all, 723 drivers suffered an injury in a car accident over the holiday weekend last year.

Brett Appelman Comments

Make good decisions out there tonight. The night before Thanksgiving is one of the biggest nights for drunk drivers of the year. Not only are you more likely to get pulled over if you drive drunk, you could end up injured if you are struck by a drunk driver.

Plan a ride home before you start drinking. A $40 cab ride is much better than a $10,000 DUI bill because you made a poor choice. If you do end up in a rough spot this weekend, give us a call at (630) 717-7801. Have a wonderful holiday!

Related source: Chicago Tribune

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Chicago Bulls’ Brewer Pleads Not Guilty To DUI Charge

Ronnie BrewerChicago Bulls forward Ronnie Brewer pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to charges of driving under the influence in the wake of a February traffic stop in Beverly Hills, California.

Brewer, 29, did not appear in court for the initial hearing. Brewer’s attorney entered the not guilty plea on his behalf.

Authorities allege that Brewer had a blood-alcohol concentration of .15 percent – nearly twice the legal limit – when he was pulled over by Beverly Hills police on February 19. His next hearing is scheduled for July 15.

Brett Appelman comments

Unfortunately DUI charges have become an epidemic with young, rich celebrities. Lindsey Lohan, Paris Hilton, Justin Bieber and multiple professional athletes have recently been charged with DUI’s. It would seem that access to money, fast cars and the feeling of being untouchable by the law fuels this epidemic. Once arrested, these celebrities can afford the most expensive lawyers, and many times are let go with little to no punishment.

Just this morning Justin Bieber’s attorney announced that his client will plead guilty to a lesser charge of Reckless Driving and will only have to attend anger management classes. Not alcohol treatment, no probation, not even the usual celebrity “sentence” of having to make a Public Service Announcement about the dangers of DUIs.

If young celebrities continue to receive almost no punishment for these DUI cases, they will continue to do the same dangerous activities that got them arrested in the first place. They should not continue to get favorable treatment by the justice system simply because they have money.

Related sources: Sports Illustrated, Reuters