If you have been watching the news, you know that the mayor of Chicago has placed a lot of efforts trying to cut back on the DUI related accidents in Chicago. The plan is to increase DUI checkpoints on specific days and the amount of police out patrolling on weekends. We’ve heard rumors and speculation that the police have been told to be more aggressive when on the lookout. Of course, take this with a grain of salt because it’s only speculation coming from the Chicago blogosphere.
Today I sit down with a family friend of mine, S.J. Feldman of Feldman Criminal Lawyer and DUI Attorney to discuss why this is all happening, how it effects you, and what you can do to protect yourself. To maintain this blogs integrity and my professionalism as a blogger/journalist, I must tell you that Steve has bought a sponsorship on this blog (as you will see in the sidebar). This does not affect this article in any way, I am simply asking a friend a few questions about his profession and his expert opinions on these matters. If you are going to troll the comments, they will be deleted. Now let’s get to the interview…
The Chicagoan: Hi. Thanks for sitting down with me today.
Steve: No problem – recording?
TC: Yep. Okay, maybe you can tell us a bit about yourself, your background – give people, readers, a better idea of yourself and your career.
S: Sure, well, I am a lawyer that practices out of Chicago but handle cases from all over Cook County – from Skokie to Schaumburg. I started [a career in law] about twenty years ago after graduating from the John Marshal Law School. I’ll cut the details, but I’ve been in involved in all types of law. Currently, aside from owning Feldman Criminal Defense, I am a hearing officer and professor at my alma mater. As a hearing office I handle license reinstatements – mostly, they involve traffic infractions and cases where the individual was under the influence.
TC: Impressive background!
S: I like to stay busy!
TC: I know you have limited time before you have to head off to a meeting, so maybe we could cut to the chase and you can answer my questions in succession. First, what is up with the rise in DUI arrests? Next, how does this affect the common person? Lastly, how can people protect themselves?
S: Well… The rise in DUI’s has been troublesome for our community but not a surprise. If you look at the data, I mean statistics of drinking and high unemployment rate, you will see a correlation. Does that mean high unemployment leads people to drink more? Certainly seems that way! It’s scary but Cook County leads the state of Illinois for most DUI related arrests. Actually, we just did a blog post on it. We’ve seen a big crack down because there is a much larger need to protect the people. There’s a write-up on our [firms] DUI page too. We’re trying hard to update our site so our clients can learn more about the DUI and criminal matters occurring in Chicago and also Cook County.
TC: Right, okay.
S: This affects the common Chicago person through various ways. Expect more traffic delays and stricter police inspection and questioning when you are pulled over late at night. How can you protect yourself? Well, think twice before drinking and driving. And not only drinking, but any substance that inhibits your reaction times. I’ve dealt with cases where people were prescribed drugs to treat common colds and been interrogated by police for suspicion of a DUI. Even if you are tired or fatigued, take a cab or call a friend. It’s honestly not worth your life or someone else’s because you fell asleep behind the wheel – which happens much more often than you think. You don’t hear about it as much in the media though. *Phone rings* Sorry, I have to take this – it was good talking with you!
Well, there you have it folks. Maybe when the unemployment rate drops we will see a drop in check points, etc. Until then, keep reading the Chicagoan for up to date info on what’s really going on in Chicago.
Until next time…