David S. Jasmer
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DUI guilty plea may land Illinois woman 28 years

A 27-year-old woman from Aurora, Illinois recently pleaded guilty to charges brought against her for driving under the influence. According to the authorities, the woman tested positive for marijuana after her vehicle was deemed the cause of a motor vehicle accident that killed two people.

In May 2009, the 27-year-old was driving on Illinois Route 47 in Kane County. Somewhere between Elburn, Illinois and Sugar Grove, Illinois, the woman decided to reach for her sunglasses because the glare of the sun was bouncing off some oncoming motorcycles, her lawyer said. When she did this, she rear-ended a car that had stopped at a nearby intersection.

By colliding with this car, she forced it to do the same to the vehicle in front of it. This car was waiting to turn left and was pushed into the path of two motorcyclists, a couple from St. Charles, Illinois. The male and female, 44 and 45, hit the car and died because of injuries sustained in the accident.

Prosecutors suspected the woman of texting as well as driving under the influence. According to her lawyer, she had not used marijuana in several days and the positive test result was due to remnants left in her system.

Initially, the 27-year-old was charged with reckless homicide. Soon after, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that any amount of an illegal substance found in the system of a driver is enough to maintain an aggravated driving under the influence charge.

Her sentencing is not scheduled until February. She may receive anywhere between six and 28 years in jail. According to an attorney not affiliated with the woman, she may also receive probation.

Distracted driving, as well as driving under the influence, are dangerous and deadly activities on our roadways. Victims of negligent drivers may be able to receive compensation to help them pay for their medical bills and even any wages they may have lost due to their injuries. In cases, where a loved one has been killed by a negligent driver, payment to cover funeral costs and the loss of future wages may also be available to the victim's family.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "Woman pleads guilty to DUI in fatal Kane County accident," Clifford Ward, Dec. 9, 2011

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