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South Suburban Drunken Driving Arrests, Nov. 6

Sometimes they end with a smile. And sometimes they end with a death. What does it mean to be "super drunk"? The week in DUI arrests, and a "super drunk" poll.

FACING TRIAL AFTER FATALITY: Police believe an Orland Park man caused a car accident that led to the death of a 70-year-old Tinley Park woman. Nicholas J. Gorny, 26, of the 11000 block of Laurel Hill Drive in Orland Park, was charged Tuesday with two counts of aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol causing a death, a Class 4 felony. On Aug. 27, Gorny was driving a Mazda east on West Hadley Drive, just west of Will-Cook Road. The Mazda crossed the center line and crashed into a car driven by Loretta Falat, 70, of Tinley Park, according to . Gorny was later found to have had a blood-alcohol level of .344, more than four times greater than the legal limit of .08, police said.

 NOV. 1: An Orland Park man — who pleaded guilty to resisting arrest last spring after telling cops he was "just a white suburban kid who didn't deserve to be arrested" — sideswiped a telephone pole while driving with a blood-alcohol level more than twice the legal limit, according to prosecutors. Robert C. McAlister, 21, of the 14400 block of Wooded Path Lane, was driving on the wrong side of the road at the intersection of 173rd Street and 108th Avenue when he crashed his car Tuesday around 1 a.m., police said. His bail was set at $40,000.

OCT 23: Police pulled over a car for swerving near 135th Street and Elm Street around 6:20 p.m. The driver was noticeably upset, but the officer did not smell alcohol and the driver didn’t show signs of intoxication while walking around outside the car, police said. A warrant was found for her arrest, according to the report. Laura A. Nilsen, 23, of the 14100 block of Sterling Drive in Orland Park, was arrested on a warrant for bond forfeiture in relation to a criminal damage to property charge.

OCT. 8: Police were called to a car crash in the 15400 block of Harlem Avenue around 2:45 a.m. Dispatch was told a Chevy Camaro was seen striking a concrete median and driving away, though hitting the median had flattened all the tires, police said. An officer found a vehicle matching the description in a nearby parking lot, and saw a man walking near the car, according to the report. The man had trouble keeping his balance, failed field sobriety tests, smelled like alcohol and admitted to hitting the median with his car, police said. While en route to the Orland Park Police Department, the man vomited out the squad car’s back window, police said. Anthony J. White, 23, of the 6900 block of 97th Place in Chicago Ridge, was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, improper lane use and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

OCT. 8: An officer pulled over a car after seeing it drive through a red light, take a fast turn at an intersection and drive across lane lines in the 7500 block of 159th Street around 2:45 a.m. The driver failed field sobriety tests, police said. Joshua J. Michaels, 20, of the 16700 block of Orland Hills, was charged with driving under the influence with a blood-alcohol level greater than .08, disobeying a traffic control light, improper turning and consumption of alcohol by a minor.

OCT. 29: Police arrested a 25-year-old Homewood woman after officers found her car stopped in a left-hand turn lane in Tinley Park. Leah M. Pietraszewski, 25, was asleep, according to police, while behind the wheel. She came to a halt while headed north on Harlem Avenue. Police found her car around 3:20 a.m. in the turn lane at 183rd Street.

The intersection isn't too far from the Tinley Park police station.

"I began to knock on the door frame of the vehicle and then the driver opened her eyes. The driver looked at me and began to smile," the officer wrote in his report. When the cop asked Pietraszewski to roll down the window, she "began to move her head in an up and down motion as to indicate yes and continued to smile," according to the report. Police said she failed field sobriety tests and was arrested and charged with driving under the influence and operating an uninsured motor vehicle. At the station, she registered a .153 blood-alcohol level at 4:10 a.m., the report stated. She was additionally charged with driving under the influence of alcohol with a blood-alcohol content greater than 0.08.

OCT. 28: Police arrested Edgar Meza, 22, of the 4400 block of West 183rd Street in Country Club Hills, around 2:20 a.m. near the intersection of 177th Street and Oak Park Avenue in Tinley Park. He reportedly failed field sobriety tests and blew a .177 on the Breathalyzer. He was charged with speeding, improper lane use, driving under the influence and driving under the influence with a blood-alcohol content greater than 0.08.

OCT. 30: Albert E. Mather, 51, of the 13500 block of McCarthy Road in Lemont, was charged with driving under the influence, speeding and improper lane use after a traffic stop near the intersection of LaGrange and St. Francis roads. Mather's next court date is Dec. 1.

OCT. 30: Caryn E. Faber, 31, of the 7600 block of West North Avenue, was charged with driving under the influence and improper lane use after a traffic stop near the intersection of LaGrange Road and Lincolnway Lane. Faber's next court date is Dec. 7.

OCT. 29: Martin D. Bender, 47, of the 23800 block of South Scheer Road in Manhattan, was charged with driving under the influence after a traffic stop in the 21300 block of LaGrange Road. Bender's next court date is Dec. 6.

OCT. 28: Martin T. Nash, 56, of the 12400 block of West Horseshoe Lane in Manhattan, was charged with driving under the influence and improper lane use after a traffic stop in the 19900 block of LaGrange Road. Nash's next court date is Dec. 1.

OCT. 28: Nathan P. Taylor, 27, of the 7800 block of West Eagle Lake Road in Peotone, was arrested and charged with driving under the influence and driving too fast for conditions after being pulled over in the 10000 block of West Steger Road.

OCT. 24: Thomas J. Kreider, 49, of the 500 block of E. 219th Street, was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol after police stopped him for disobeying a stop sign, according to the report. Asked if he had been drinking Kreider said, "Yes, I has one beer earlier today," but failed sobriety tests, police said. Meanwhile, police discovered crack cocaine on Kreider's passenger, Lamont P. France, 41, of 250 Eddy Street, and he was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance, according to the report.

DID YOU KNOW? A SOBERING 'SUPER DRUNK' LAW IN MICHIGAN

In Michigan, you can be charged with being "super drunk." The super-drunk blood alcohol limit is 0.17. A scantily-costumed driver on her way home from a Halloween party in Michigan emerged from a police station bathroom and punched an officer in the face, police said. , police told Patch. If you're convicted of being "super drunk," you face double the fines and double the jail time. The law went into effect in October 2010. Illinois DUI laws allow judges to impose slightly stiffer penalties when the BAC is over 0.16 but do not double the penalties.

Should Illinois have a strict "Super Drunk" law?

Rebecca Wharrie November 07, 2011 at 12:49 PM
YES! We need a super-drunk law. What are these people thinking?
Andrea Williams November 07, 2011 at 02:51 PM
The drunk driving laws in IL and IN already differentiate levels of intoxification and assess penalties accordingly. In IL it is a BAC > .16 and I believe in IN it is BAC > .15 The laws also take into consideration other factors like if you have a minor in the car or a prior convinction within a certain period of time - usually the last 5 years. For those that are interested, this website does a good job of summarizing the DUI laws in simple language. http://dui.drivinglaws.org/ill.php
Russ November 07, 2011 at 05:14 PM
I don't think increasing penalties will deter the party going drinkers that are out there .The drunks that are caught driving are the tip of the iceberg of actual intoxicated drivers.The laws, penalties, and awareness of these consequences are known by the driving public. I think ,making the bars and liquor stores more responsible should also be part of the solution. When people drink one of the first things alcohol effects is the inhibition and judgement center in the brain.Therefore the drinker will be more likely to think he is capable of driving when he is around the dui level.Penalties are not so bad in a drunken mind. I think a blow before you go at bars and liquor stores might help in solving the problem.Drinking establishments could take a deposit before people are served alcohol.the deposit is only given back if they are under the legal limit.The deposit could then be used for cab fare for the inebriated person.

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