There are a number of DUI and traffic-related proposals currently pending in the 2018 Illinois legislature. These are a few highlights of those bills, which deserve close attention:
Traffic Ticket Fine Waiver Program
Fines, fees and costs for minor traffic offenses could be excused for a defendant who is unable to pay. Upon application, the court may convert all of the obligation to community service or partially excuse payment without condition.
License to Work Act
Suspension of driver’s licenses and vehicle registration would be prohibited if the only basis was the failure to pay any traffic fine or penalty. Likewise, license suspensions for toll violations and parking tickets would be ended.
Fleeing and Eluding Causing Death
Fleeing and eluding which causes death to another would be Class 2 felony (3-7 years incarceration). If death is caused to a peace officer or first responder the offense would be a Class 1 felony (4-15 years incarceration).
Use of Electronic Communication Device
Any violation involving the use of a cell phone, etc. while driving would now constitute a moving violation. Currently, only a second or subsequent offense is treated as a moving violation.
Involvement in Fatal Accident/Mandatory Testing
Any person who is involved in a fatal motor vehicle accident would be required to submit to chemical testing (blood, breath or urine) in order to determine the content of alcohol, drugs, etc. in the person’s body.
Driving the Wrong Way on a One-Way Street – DUI
It shall be considered an aggravating factor in sentencing for any person who is under the influence while driving the wrong way on a one-way street.
Propensity Evidence – DUI
In a DUI prosecution, evidence that a person has previously committed a DUI offense may be admissible in order to demonstrate that the person committed the current offense.
Attorney Larry A. Davis of The Davis Law Group, P.C., is a member of the legislative subcommittee of the Traffic Laws and Courts Section Council of the Illinois State Bar Association.