A $250,000 bond was set for a suburban Chicago man charged with three counts of aggravated DUI. The driver allegedly caused a fatal car accident that took the life of a Sycamore boy and critically injured a second victim. Authorities said the negligent driver had heroin in his system.
The Kane County crash took place on an evening in late February along Route 64. The 11-year-old boy was a back seat passenger in a Chevrolet Cavalier stopped in westbound traffic. Cars were stopped to allow emergency crews to clear an accident west of the backup.
The Kane County Sheriff's Department said the suspect's westbound Ford Expedition failed to stop as it approached the traffic jam. The vehicle slammed into the back of the Cavalier. The child died in the accident. An unidentified person in the front seat suffered grave injuries.
Prosecutors said the Expedition driver had no car insurance. A chemical analysis of the driver's urine revealed metabolites of heroin. Charges for uninsured driving, failure to slow down and felony DUI could cost the defendant up to $25,000 in fines and imprison him for as long as 14 years.
The level of alcohol in a driver's blood is an impairment indicator, according to Illinois laws. A driver whose blood alcohol content is 0.08 or higher is too intoxicated to operate a motor vehicle safely.
DUI suspects also may be charged with driving unsafely under the influence of any drug, not only illegal substances. Serious charges also may be filed against drivers whose actions were impacted by measurable amounts of over-the-counter and prescription medications.
Proof of impairment strengthens the prosecution of a DUI defendant during a criminal trial. The evidence also supports civil claims for personal injury and wrongful death. The parents of the child killed in the Chicago crash may have the right to sue the Sycamore defendant for damages based on drugged-driving negligence.
Source: chicago.cbslocal.com, "Prosecutors: Man Was High On Heroin When He Struck, Killed 11-Year-Old Boy" No Author Given, May. 07, 2013