Posted On: August 27, 2009 by Steven J. Malman

27-Year-Old East Carondelet Woman Charged with 32 Counts of Aggravated DUI in Illinois Car Accident that Killed Four People Last May

Police in Clinton County, Illinois have charged Melissa Weiser with 32 counts of aggravated DUI. The 27-year-old was driving the car that crashed into a SUV on May 24 near Keyesport.

Three of the people riding in the SUV, Aviston resident Blake Thole, Germantown resident Derek Garrison, and Beckenmeyer resident Justin Haar, all died in the deadly Illinois car crash. Four other occupants, New Baden’s Crystal Fuehne, Albers’s Elisah Engelmann, Damiansville’s Casey Athmer, and Breese’s John Lampen sustained injuries. East Carondelet resident Chaz Sarget, who was riding in Weiser’s car, was also killed in the Clinton County, Illinois car crash.

Weiss was arrested on Tuesday after prosecutors filed the charges against her.

According to new government figures, the number of DUI arrests involving women in Illinois and the rest of the US has gone up, while the number of men arrested for DUI over the last 10 years has gone down. One reason for this, says former Cook County prosecutor Denise Nalley, is that police officers are no longer practicing leniency toward female drunk drivers.

In 2007, US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s daughter, Ann Banaszewski, was charged with DUI in DuPage County. Banaszewski was sentenced to 18-months court supervision and she had to undergo alcohol counseling.

While in 1998, 126,000 women were arrested in the US for drunk driving, that number rose to 162,000 in 2007. In Illinois, there were 7,430 women arrested for DUI in 1998. 9,800 women were arrested for Illinois drunk driving in 2007. In Chicago, there were 400 female DUI arrests in 2001. In 2007, 610 women were arrested for Chicago DUI.

As evidenced by the drunk driving accident that our Chicago car accident law firm discusses in this blog post, driving under the influence of any kind of substance is negligent driving that can kill people and destroy the lives of the victims’ loved ones.

Woman accused of felony DUI in wreck that killed 4, Chicago Tribune, August 27, 2009

Woman charged with DUI in Keyesport wreck that killed 4, BND, August 27, 2009

Cops get tough with women driving drunk, Chicago Sun-Times, August 23, 2009

Please contact Chicago car crash attorney Steve Malman to request your free case evaluation.

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