Quinn Signs off on Stricter Boater Safety Regulations

At the beginning of July, Governor Pat Quinn signed off on several different laws that were aimed to increase boating safety regulations. News of these updates happened over the Fourth of July weekend, and Quinn used it as an opportunity to remind Illinois residents. “Over the Fourth of July weekend, it’s important that all residents stay safe while celebrating, especially out on Illinois waterways,” Quinn stated in a news release. He continued: “While boating is a great way to enjoy the outdoors, everyone has to take precautions and follow the rules to keep drivers and passengers out of harm’s way. These new laws will help make Illinois lakes and rivers safer and more enjoyable for all…”

New Boating Legislation

The Chicago Democrat signed off on three measures at a ceremony that took place off the shores of Lake Michigan. These new measures focused on:

      • Require boaters to take safety courses
      • Create rules for towing people on water tubes or skies
      • Impose stricter boater DUI penalties

DUI on the Water

Being charged with a DUI on the water is much different than being charged with a DUI on the road. Quinn hopes that with this new legislation in place, boaters will realize how extreme a boating DUI offense is. State officials reported that there have been 16 deaths due to boating incidents this year, and many supporters of the new safety laws believe that all of these deaths could have been avoided.

While road DUI fatalities are much steeper than boating fatalities, no death is warranted. “Boats are every bit as dangerous as cars, and boat operators should be held to the same standard as drivers,” stated Senator Julie Morrison, who backs the new legislation.

The new law states that a person who is convicted of three boat DUIs, or those caught operating a boat with a license that has already been revoked, could have their boat taken from them. This law also applies to any boat operators who have been convicted of a reckless homicide, accidental death, or accidental injury.

Many supporters of the stricter laws hope that boaters will take safety more seriously, especially when boating on holidays. Besides boating DUIs, Quinn approved legislation that makes it mandatory for boaters to display a foot-long orange flag on the highest point of the boat while towing in people who are jet-skiing, or tubing. The last measure – beginning in 2016, Illinois residents born after January 1st, 1998, must be certified by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to operate a watercraft with more than a 10 horsepower engine.

Call a Chicago DUI Attorney for the Assistance you Deserve

If you or a loved one are facing a DUI allegation, please do not hesitate to contact The Law Office of J. Samuel Worley. Our Chicago DUI Attorneys are extremely supportive, and are knowledgeable in cases similar to yours. We offer free, confidential consultations to those in need. Call us today: 312-953-LAW1

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Congresswoman Nita M. Lowry introduces New Law to Help Reduce Repeat DUI Offences

More than 10,000 people die each year due to drunk driving. “In my mind, driving drunk only once is one time too many,” states Congresswoman Nita M. Lowry, who recently proposed a new law that mandates all convicted drunk driving offenders have a ignition interlock installed in their cars for no less than 6 months after their arrest. The law, Alisa’s law, was named in honor of the daughter of the current president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving — Jan Withers. Withers’ daughter, Alisa Joy, was killed in 1992 by an underage drunk driver.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, data suggests that nearly one-third of all DUI arrests and convictions involve a repeat drunk driving offender. MADD also found through a compilation of studies that state that the average DUI offender has driven inebriated 87 times before being caught. Alisa’s Law targets this large group of repeat offenders head on.

“Naming this legislation after my daughter is an honor, and a message to the public that the fight against drunk driving is not going to end until there are no more victims of this violent crime,” Withers goes on to explain. States with similar laws in place have seen a great decrease in drunken driving deaths since the law was put in place. MADD goes on to explain that states, such as Oregon and Arizona, have decreased drunken driving deaths by more than 40 percent.

The bill was introduced by Representative Nita Lowry last week on Tuesday, July 8th.  If the bill is passed, it will mean be a big win for Withers, and for MADD. National Transportation Safety Board, AAA, and many other large safety organization stand with MADD, and have endorsed the concept.

Eliminating drunk driving is a large feat, but MADD hopes that the passing of Alisa’s Law will be the push they need to continue efforts. While safe driving is always important, The Law Offices of J. Samuel Worley, LLC understands that mistakes can be made. If you are charged with a DUI, the Chicago DUI Criminal Defense Attorneys at The Law offices of J. Samuel Worley, LLC want to help. We offer support and legal advice to those who need it. Contact us today to set up a confidential and free initial consultation: 312-600-8655

I got arrested for DUI, should I get a lawyer for the first court date?

There are many tactical advantages in obtaining a lawyer prior to your first court date.  First and foremost consider the ramifications on your Illinois driving privileges.  Once arrested for DUI, you will face a mandatory suspension of your Illinois driver’s license for a minimum of six months to one year for a first offender and a minimum one to three years for multiple offenders.  This suspension takes effect on the 46th day from the date your citation was issued.  Obtaining an attorney prior to your first court date affords you the best opportunity to rescind the DUI suspension and fully restore your driving privileges, many times before the suspension even takes effect.  There are five basic grounds on which your suspension may be rescinded.  An experienced attorney can consult with you and quickly assess the chances of successfully rescinding your suspension based on those grounds.  In addition to the five grounds for rescission, the State only has a limited time in which to provide you a hearing upon receiving proper notification of your Petition to Rescind.  Hiring an attorney before the first court date allow him or her to file a Petition on your behalf, thus putting the State on the clock to provide your hearing even before you step into court the first time.

In addition to quickly and aggressively fighting for your Illinois driving privileges, hiring an attorney before your first court date will help ensure that your rights are protected throughout the entire prosecution.  A first offense DUI is a class A misdemeanor and is punishable by up to three hundred sixty four days in jail.  The consequences only escalate with other aggravating factors such as accidents with or without injury, driving without a valid driver’s license or having prior DUI convictions.  With your liberty at stake, it is crucial that you have someone protecting your rights throughout the process.  With a lawyer at your side at the first court date, he or she will be able to obtain police reports and consult with you about the strengths and weaknesses of the State’s case, examine charging documents to detect any technical problems and ensure that your case is resolved quickly and efficiently.