An Oak Lawn man was pulling out of the Thornton’s gas station at 91st and Cicero driving a silver Mercedes with a large crack on the front passenger side of the windshield.
An Oak Lawn police officer was traveling by the station at the same time and recognized the man as Abel Aguilar. A quick check by the officer indicated that Aguilar’s driver’s license was suspended for a DUI.
The officer stopped Aguilar’s vehicle in the currency exchange parking lot at 94th and Cicero Avenue. Aguilar’s mother, who was driving another car, also pulled into the currency exchange lot according to the police.
The officer told Aguilar that he wasn’t supposed to be driving since his license was suspended. However, Aguilar allegedly insisted that he was able to drive because he was “fighting” the DUI in court.
The officer showed Aguilar the computer screen that indicated the license had already been suspended. Aguilar said he was coming from court.
Under Illinois law the police can seize a person’s vehicle and commence a forfeiture proceeding. If they prevail the vehicle will be forfeited and sold at auction. The owner will lose the property and is not reimbursed.
One of the offenses for which the police can seize the vehicle is driving during a summary suspension or DUI-based revocation. A summary suspension of a license goes into effect after 45 days have passed since the DUI arrest. A summary suspension is imposed by the Secretary of State’s Office because either the driver refused chemical testing or failed the test.
State Legislators broadened the statute in 2013 to give law enforcement additional grounds to seize a vehicle including if the person’s driving privilege was revoked or suspended as a result of a DUI. The Oak Lawn police have reportedly begun the process of seizing the 2005 Class C Mercedes.
Aguilar was taken into custody and the officer searched the vehicle. The police claim that they found a yellow plastic Ziploc baggie on the driver’s floorboard. Aguilar reportedly denied that the bag was his and accused the officer of putting it in the car, according to the police. A test of the residue in the bag came back negative.
The police also uncovered ninety $100 bills which were marked “for motion picture use only”. Aguilar told the officer that he ordered the bills online to film a rap video. He denied using any of the bills to pay for goods or services. The police noted that law enforcement has issued a flyer indicating that these types of bills have been used to obtain goods and services fraudulently. The bills were photographed.
Aguilar was issued citations for driving with a suspended license and having a defective windshield. Aguilar, 24 years old, provided an Oak Lawn address on Cicero near 90th Street.