A special prosecutor may be appointed in a case involving an Illinois police officer who is facing a drunk driving charge in connection with a Jan. 19 motor vehicle accident that claimed the life of one of her colleagues. The motion to appoint a special prosecutor was made by the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office to avoid a possible conflict of interest. The 12-year veteran of the Joliet Police Department has been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and driving too fast for prevailing road conditions.
The fatal accident occurred near the intersection of Interstate 55 and U.S. Route 30 in Plainfield. According to a police report, an intoxicated driver lost control of his Nissan sedan and struck a box truck that was preparing to make a right turn from I-55 onto U.S. Route 30. The officer’s Dodge SUV then struck the rear of the box truck. The officer’s passenger was killed in the accident. The 33-year-old man was also a police officer. Both officers were off duty when the crash took place.
The driver was issued a misdemeanor drunk driving ticket following the accident. Her attorney claims eyewitness testimony will establish that his client was given no time to avoid a collision and blood tests taken after the accident revealed her blood alcohol concentration to be below the legal limit.
The penalties for drunk driving are often severe, but experienced criminal defense attorneys may seek to have DUI charges dismissed when prosecutors are unable to prove that their clients were legally intoxicated. Attorneys could also challenge BAC evidence if blood or breath tests were not conducted properly or their clients suffer from any of the medical conditions that have been known to skew toxicology test results.