The simplest way to avoid being arrested and charged with drunk driving is not to drink and drive. Because the chances of you getting busted for DUI if you’re weaving around the road are pretty good. Those odds increase if you are involved in an auto accident – especially if you slam into a couple of police cars.
That’s precisely what happened last week on the Far South Side of Chicago. Just after midnight on the morning of Monday, November 4, a 69-year old Chicago man was driving a Nissan Altima southbound on South Indianapolis Road (which parallels the Chicago Skyway). Somewhere between Avenue J and 102nd Street, the Altima struck an unmarked police car that was parked as part of a traffic stop. The police car was then pushed into a Chevy Tahoe, which also struck another police car. A total of nine people (including four police officers) were injured as a result of the chain-reaction collision. The 69-year old was cited on multiple counts of driving under the influence as well as failing to stay in a lane of traffic and negligent driving.
Obviously, the DUI suspect faces substantial criminal penalties stemming from his alleged drunk driving. But he could also be named as a defendant in personal injury lawsuits filed by the injured civilians (not the cops – they are covered under their worker’s compensation or similar programs). The 69-year old could be ordered to reimburse the plaintiffs for all of their medical expenses, including ambulance charges, treatment and medication expenses, and even future physical therapy sessions. He might also have to compensate the victims for unearned wages due to work absenteeism stemming from the auto accident, and perhaps even pay out monetary damages for pain and suffering and/or punitive damages if convicted on the charges of DUI.