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Public officials need strong defense in DUI cases

Drunk-driving charges are always important to take seriously, regardless of who faces them, especially when the defendant has previous drunk driving convictions. Even more important is it to take such charges seriously when one is a public official or holds a position which could put one’s public image at risk.

This is the case with a Northwest Side alderman who was arrested last week for suspected drunk driving, and who has since been charged with misdemeanor driving under the influence. Police reportedly pulled the alderman over after seeing his vehicle pass between lanes without him using a turn signal. He was apparently arrested after failing some field sobriety tests.

The alderman has a previous DUI conviction from 1995, which became somewhat of an issue during his campaign. He has expressed the wish that the current charge will not impact his ability to do his job, but it doesn’t always work out that way, though it would be nice.

Of course, as all defendants do, the alderman has the right to take up an appropriate defense. Those who are familiar with some of the issues that can come up in drunk-driving cases know that it is important for DUI defendants to explore potential their case with an experienced attorney.

A skilled attorney is able to identify potential weaknesses in the prosecution’s case or protections which make strengthen one’s defense. Criminal defense cannot always prevent charges from impacting one’s personal or public life, but it can at least minimize the legal consequences.

Source: Chicago Tribune, “Chicago alderman arrested for DUI,” Hal Dardick, July 28, 2014. 

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