Officer’s Spouse Guilty in DUI Deaths

Jury Finds Police Officer’s Wife Guilty

Having a friend or relative who works for law enforcement may be helpful on occasion when it comes to getting out of a parking citation or a speeding ticket, but this is often not the case for more serious crimes, such as DUI, when the incident involves two deaths. In Illinois, a jury found a 47-year-old woman guilty of charges stemming from an incident that took place in January 2013 when the woman and two friends were involved in a car crash.

The woman and her two friends were out celebrating a birthday at a local bar. An article written by a local news outlet stated prosecutors accused the woman of not only being under the influence of alcohol but also under the influence of cocaine when she decided to get behind the wheel, saying she had a “cop card” and that doing so was okay. The “cop card” the woman referred to was actually her husband’s business card—her husband was a Chicago police officer.

Witnesses said they saw the woman get behind the wheel of a vehicle with her two friends as passengers. Shortly after leaving the bar, the woman lost control of the vehicle, plowed through a concrete wall, and fell to the road below – a 50 foot drop. The driver then left the vehicle and walked for a few hours before law enforcement picked her up. The woman had serious frostbite on her hands, and she claimed to have been walking home from the bar since she was too intoxicated to drive.

The driver was taken to the hospital for treatment, but she never reported the accident or that the vehicle with her two friends, who had died in the accident, was still on the road. Law enforcement discovered the vehicle hours later and found footprints in the snow leading away from the scene to the area where the driver was found. The woman was charged with failure to report an accident, aggravated DUI involving death, and possession of cocaine.

If the accident had occurred in another state, the woman could have also been charged with manslaughter while intoxicated or gross vehicular manslaughter for the deaths of her two passengers. Being charged and convicted of either of these crimes could have led to her spending up to ten years in prison along with a number of fines and penalties and a very lengthy driver’s license suspension.

Taryn J. White

About Taryn J. White

Taryn J. White is a legal research specialist and DUI law news reporter. Her current accomplishments include helping those facing any driving under the influence arrest charges, get free online assistance in learning how to fight a DUI case for the best possible outcome.

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