CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White held a hearing Thursday aimed closing some apparent loopholes in the state’s laws on impaired driving.
“We just want to make sure individuals who drive on our roads are not impaired and they are a responsible person behind a motor vehicle,” White said.
McHenry County State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally said under the law prosecutors are not allowed to tell the jury in a drunken driving case, if the defendant has a history of DUI convictions. He told the Secretary of State’s Traffic Safety Advisory Committee he proposed ending that restriction.
“As a prosecutor who has prosecuted DUIs for 10 years, it is particularly galling to see system sophisticated DUI defendants conceal evidence of their wrongdoing and as a result of that avoid the consequences of their wrongdoing; especially when thereafter they go out and hurt other people,” he said.
“Approximately 30 percent of those arrested for a DUI are repeat offenders, compared to 25 percent of sex offenders and between 20 and 33 percent of domestic batterers.”
The panel is also considering changes in the law that erases a DUI conviction from a driver’s record after five years without another offense.