Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Shovel Attack Criminal Reforms - Parts 4-7

I'm tired of dragging this out with one idea a day so here are the last four suggestions to plugging the loop-holes in the state's criminal justice system when dealing with DUI offenders and victims.

  • Double Compensation under Crime Victims Assistance Act — $27,000 or $28,000 doesn’t cover much in the way of medical expenses when surgeries are performed. While the legislature has increased the amount covered over the years it has only kept up with general inflation, not medical costs which have increased much faster. Make it retroactive also to any victims of a crime committed in FY2006.

  • Demand Crime Scene Blood Alcohol Testing — BAC testing today is mostly voluntary with incentives offered to drunks for taking the test. If they take the test they don’t automatically get their license suspended. However what’s the incentive for persons with licenses already suspended? At the very least this loophole should be changed so that it is mandatory when the suspect does not possess a valid driver’s license for any reason. Frankly though the state’s implied consent rules should be expanded to include anyone operating a vehicle on a public roadway and all DUI suspects should be tested. Police should have the right to gather evidence at the scene where reasonable evidence suggests an impaired driver.

  • Target the Source — Require law enforcement officers to inquire of DUI suspects where they obtained their alcohol or drugs. Currently this is not on the Illinois State Police forms used by local police departments. While suspects may refuse to answer – this is their right, those that do would be providing authorities with information for future investigations if the same establishments appeared over and over. It would also highlight targets for victims looking for compensation. In my case this wasn’t asked.

  • Develop Suspended Driver Hot Sheets for Local Police — Require the Illinois State Police or the Secretary of State’s Office to compile a list of local drivers with suspended licenses cross-checked against vehicle registrations and license plates. This type of data could help aggressive police agencies to target suspended drivers who keep driving, a segment of the population which according to police are among the most likely to be involved in other criminal matters.

    So what do you think? Tips, comments, constructive criticisms and suggestions wanted.

    Cross posted at Illinoize.
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