Tipsy Driver Hits Chicago Cop Car

A 47-year old Chicago man literally drove himself into trouble on Saturday when he drunkenly crashed his car into the back of an unmarked police car.

Christopher Slotwinski injured two police officers when he crashed into their squad car at about 8:40 p.m. in the Marquette Park neighborhood.  All three people involved in the incident were taken to the hospital for treatment, but none of the injuries were life threatening.

Slotwinski faces a slew of charges including DUI, reckless driving, driving without insurance, driving with a suspended license and driving too fast for conditions.

Attorney Brett Appelman comments

This gentleman is in a good bit of trouble.

A DUI is a Class A Misdemeanor, which means Slotwinski could potentially spend up to one year in jail.  On top of that, there are certain conditions that can “aggravate” the DUI charge.  This means that these certain conditions can raise the DUI charge up to a felony, where the potential jail sentence can be multiple years in prison.

Driving on a suspended license and driving without insurance are both aggravators that allow for the prosecutor to raise a DUI charge up to a felony.  The Class A Misdemeanor can become a Class 4 Felony, which allows for a three-year sentence in a state prison.  The charge of reckless driving is a separate Class A Misdemeanor, and driving too fast for conditions is a traffic ticket that is only eligible for a fine of up to $1,000.

The prosecutor will normally go after any and all charges in a case like this.  It is not unusual to see eight or nine charges come out of a single traffic stop.  A common bargaining ploy by the prosecutor is to charge a large number of charges in one case, and then offer to drop some of the smaller charges in return for a guilty plea on the larger charges.  Because of the nature of his case, I expect Mr. Slotwinski will jump at the chance to get some of the smaller charges dropped.

Related source:  ABC Chicago