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dui-40566_960_720According to the Chicago Sun Times, a crash in west suburban Oakbrook Terrace has resulted in the charging of both drivers with DUI and one with a felony.

DuPage County Prosecutors say that the first driver, Sean Maroney, 20, was driving toward the wrong way toward oncoming traffic. The Ohio resident was driving on Roosevelt Road when he collided head-on into the vehicle of the other driver, whose identity has been revealed as 25-year-old Molly Paige.

Every two minutes, a person is injured in a drunk driving crash. Not only were both drivers allegedly under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash, but Paige had three other passengers in the car. Everyone involved in the crash was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment of non life-threatening injuries.

An average drunk driver has driven drunk 80 times before his or her first arrest, and as a result of this unfortunate incident, Maroney was charged with a felony aggravated DUI. Paige was charged with a misdemeanor count of DUI, according to officials.

Last Wednesday, Maroney was ordered to be held in lieu of $150,000 by Judge Michael Reidy.

The same day, State’s Attorney Robert Berlin issued a statement once again communicating that this DUI incident — and ones just like it — are “100% avoidable.”

“People have got to learn that if you have been drinking, don’t think you are all right to drive. Call a taxi or call a friend — you’ll thank yourself the next morning,”

Despite this incident and Chicago’s current DUI rates, a study last year by the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists showed that Chicago DUI rates are about half the size they were at their highest: about 6,896 back in 2005 down to about 3,315 in 2015.

“Maybe public awareness over the last 20 years with ‘Don’t Drink and Drive’ is finally hitting home,” said Bob Cebrzynski, president of the alliance’s board of directors. “Maybe Uber has something to do with it,” he added. “Maybe Lyft has something to do with it.”

In addition to increasing the number of roadside stops and raising awareness of the dangers of getting behind the wheel after drinking alcohol, the biggest cause for the drastically lower rates seem to reflect the change in social attitudes. Rita Kreslin, the group’s executive director, explains, “over the last three decades, progress has been made to help eliminate the devastation caused by impaired driving in Illinois. While frustratingly slow, many lives have been saved. Focused efforts and cooperation of law-enforcement agencies, traffic-safety advocates and communities have helped to prevent crashes and save thousands of lives.”

The Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists was founded in 1982 by actual victims of drunken driving incidents. The Illinois activist group has been charged by the state to conduct these annual studies for the past 26 years due to funding from a grant from the Department of Transportation.


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