State’s Attorney Tough on DUI Offenders, Lawbreaking Politicians Not So Much

It’s All About “Safety”, Right?

A joint press release from McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office and Local Law Enforcement:

Starting April 15, 2018, the Algonquin, Cary, Harvard, Huntley Johnsburg, Lake in the Hills, McHenry, Spring Grove, and Woodstock Police Departments, in collaboration with the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office, will institute a new policy whereby a warrant for a blood draw will be obtained for any DUI suspect that refuses breathalyzer testing.

Of the policy, Woodstock Police Chief John Lieb said, “[w]ith the overall mission of public safety in mind, it is Woodstock Police Department’s perception that this initiative is certain to deter some who may contemplate driving after consuming too much alcohol or are under the influence of other substances.”

While DUI suspects face severe civil penalties, such as suspension of driving privileges, if they refuse breathalyzer testing, police cannot generally require or physically force a suspect to submit.

As such, many DUI suspects, mostly those who subjectively believe their blood alcohol concentration to be above the legal limit of 0.08 g/dL, often attempt to obstruct a DUI investigation by refusing to submit to breathalyzer testing. This is especially true of repeat DUI offenders.

Refusal is done in an effort to ensure that breathalyzer results cannot be used in a subsequent criminal prosecution.

The new policy will no longer allow DUI suspects to undermine criminal prosecutions in this way.  Rather, should a DUI suspect refuse breathalyzer testing, a warrant will be sought allowing police to draw the suspect’s blood.

Should the warrant be granted, the suspect will be transported to a nearby emergency room where his/her blood will be drawn and tested for blood alcohol concentration.

This policy will ensure that prosecutors are equipped with the strongest possible evidence in court and, thereby, that all DUI offenders are held accountable.

In addition to holding offenders accountable, Cary Police Chief Finlon observed that the initiative “will create strong cases for the prosecution, thereby encouraging a defendant to seek plea negotiations, reducing the need for investigating officers to appear in court, and improving law enforcement patrol staffing.”

The policy will be aided by the electronic warrant system, launched in January of 2017.

The electronic warrant system creates a streamlined process that police can follow to

Patrick Kenneally

obtain a warrant without ever having to leave the police station.

Specifically, the e-warrant system allows police to create search warrants online, send those warrants for review to a judge electronically, interact with the judge via video-conferencing, and ultimately obtain a warrant through a judge’s electronic signature.

“The days of drunk drivers refusing to blow thinking that they can beat a DUI charge are coming to an end,” said Patrick Kenneally, McHenry County State’s Attorney.

“This new policy means that we’re going to ensure we have all the evidence we need to successfully prosecute drunk drivers every time.”


State’s Attorney Tough on DUI Offenders, Lawbreaking Politicians Not So Much — 22 Comments

  1. This is unconstitutional and a infringement on rights of individuals. This is over the top

  2. What a waste of money. what percentage of DUI cases result in the arrest in officer needing to attend? What percentage of DUI cases result in a plea? I would venture to be it’s 99%

  3. Money money money money grab. The lose most of these cases and they found a solution,until it gets challenged, and it should.

  4. Yeah if you don’t get what you want just take them, strap them down and take what you want for a conviction. But when it comes to the prosecution that’s fine in the USA any other country we would call this mistreatment . Just a thought here.

  5. I don’t understand your super-head about being soft on politicians? Did a drunk politician get off?

    By the way, drunk driving is a scourge. I have zero sympathy for scumbags trying to evade prosecution.

  6. JoeK,
    Please define drunk driving. Years ago it was a BAL of 1.5, then 1.0, now .8

    Did you know there is a gene that makes some people require more alcohol to feel the buzzed effect of booze? BAL is not an effective measure for drunkenness in all people.

    Tina Hill

  7. I hear Kenneally has plans to install video cameras in every house so the evidence of domestic violence will be stronger for those domestic cases. He’s going to exempt his house. God knows he wouldn’t want his privacy invaded. And if you’re politically connected you get a pass too.

    This is not a free society when the police and the states attorney will strap people down and forcibly withdraw bodily fluids to make a case.

    This is a Chicago Democrat type action.

    If Kenneally wants to be tough on crime he can start by equal application of the law which includes the political insiders that get passed like Lance.

  8. I foresee; a) increased jury trials, b) increased costs to villages and county deputies salaries,c) elimination of “DUI” arrests to just get the tow and storage fees of $500 , d) costs to the villages of blood draws in medical expenses when ETOH isn’t high enough to write the second citation for DUI over; and DUI lawyers making a killing and driving newer cars!!

  9. As I have said previously, welcome to the Stasi County Of McHenry.
    Big Brother is watching, you MUST submit.
    Now you will be compelled by law to submit evidence against yourself
    or go directly to prison.
    So much for your Constitutional Rights, and yet another reason to abandon Illinois ASAP.

  10. I think many citizens are disappointed in the McHenry County States Attorneys and the sheriff’s office. They are showing serious signs of overreach and infringement on the rights of citizens. In the long run, I don’t think this will play well and they will not be re-elected. I think the Republican party should start looking for replacements now.

  11. –Very disappointed with Kid Kenneally. Maybe he should change his name to Squeallie.

    Why won’t he go after the crimes committed by the Miller Gang of Six!

  12. Disappointed— Prim ran unopposed in the March primary.

    Sandy Saldago’s happy with her cushy job, do you think she would seek someone to run against Prim?

    Kenneally has been a slime ball since day 1.

  13. Don’t forget to take away guns from drunks, druggies and the mentally ill. Make McHenry Great Again!

  14. Ladies and Gentlemen: Warrants for blood draws, in DUI arrests, are status quo in the state just to the North. The law reads blood, breath, urine, or any combination. It’s what ever the officer wants to do in way of testing. Doing blood warrants, in my experience, ties up an officer for undo amounts of time. You are basically at the mercy of how busy the ED’s are at the time. On a Friday night, blood draw is low priority, and you may have an officer down for a few hours, with time for drafting the warrant, sending it, approval, and then executing it. Additionally, the only departments involved that have facilities readily available to them are McHenry, Huntley, and Harvard. Woodstock is ? mark, as the status of their ED is still up in the air long range. Everybody else will have to transport their offender out of town, causing another issue of coverage while officer(s) are tied up for the draw, especially if subject is uncooperative.

    With today’s technology (body cam, in squad car cams, etc) video of how the subject is acting and reacting, as well as results of field sobriety testing. Let’s face it, if the subject appears impaired and it’s recorded, it’s kinda hard not to convict based on video and a well documented report. Having the BAC is just gravy.

    I don’t see eye to eye on a lot of AZ’s comments, but his current one regarding costs and etc, are very true.

  15. Repulsive. Just repulsive.

    Because of the time lag between being pulled over and testing, every defense attorney will now also subpoena every nurse and every lab technician to challenge either the chain of custody, or sample purity, or both. To claim this will save money is ludicrous. It won’t. Hospitals should be running the other way from certification. This will cost them more than they can charge.

    This is an ill-advised policy by a new SA desperate to start building a reputation at the expense of the Fourth Amendment.

  16. Good job for staying out of this Crystal Lake. This is a great way to keep cops not policing.

    Whether the people blow or not- cases will still be dropped.
    The second time you don’t blow your license is suspended for three years.

  17. According to the last NHTSA FARS reporting available for 2016, in all of McHenry County, there were 155 DRIVERS involved in a crash that resulted in at least 1 death.

    Guess how many of those DRIVERS were at or above the legal limit? 10% or 16 out of 155 DRIVERS.

    Those results imply it is the DISTRACTED DRIVERS doing the majority of the killing in this County.

    Google >>>>Two Carpentersville motorcycle riders dead in McHenry County crash<<<<. Did we ever find out who the woman driver was and if she served jail time or had her license taken away?

    FARS data is located here if anyone in the MADD/AAIM crowd pushing this bad legislation wished to debate it.

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