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Two west suburban Chicago women were killed in mid-September in a fiery crash on the Eisenhower Expressway, according to the Chicago Tribune. A man was arrested in connection with the crash and was “charged with aggravated driving under the influence,” Illinois State Police told the Tribune of Miguel Rico, 20. “But State Police spokesperson Monique Bond and the Cook County state’s attorney’s office said [later] that Rico has not yet been charged.” Rico is, however, allegedly the man who was operating the vehicle responsible for the crash, and, according to the Tribune, “after the crash was arrested and held without bail on a charge of violating probation in a 2011 felony drug-possession case.”
Regardless of whether Rico is found guilty of aggravated DUI, it’s clear that he was held on charges of probation violation and could face additional consequences because of these charges, separate of the Eisenhower Expressway incident. According to FindLaw.com, “generally, a probation violation occurs when you ignore, avoid, refuse, or otherwise break the terms or conditions of your probation at any time during the probation period.” Probation times vary by state and type of offense, but generally range anywhere from one to three years. Violent crimes or incidents that involved death or bodily harm tend to carry longer probation periods—they could, according to FindLaw.com, “last for several years depending on the original offense.”
According to a publication issued by the Illinois Secretary of State’s office, the number of drivers arrested for DUI has continued to decline in recent years. In the first district of Cook County, for example, there were 3,862 drivers arrested for DUI in 2009. In 2011, that number had declined significantly to 3,175. The decline could be a result of stepped up efforts on the part of the criminal justice system in Illinois to deter drivers from drunk driving, and are consistent with an overall decline in drunk driving arrests in the U.S. since the beginning of the decade.
Regardless, if you or someone you know has been injured or killed by a drunk driver—especially if he was in violation of his probation—such as the family of the victims killed in the Eisenhower crash, you may be eligible for compensation. Don’t go through it alone. Contact a dedicated Chicago-area personal injury attorney today.