A Chicago man was charged with felony Driving Under the Influence, in Oak Lawn after being stopped early Sunday morning on February 3rd.
A police officer on patrol reported that he witnessed a driver exit 89th place onto Cicero Avenue. The officer alleged that the driver crossed three lanes of traffic while making a wide turn and then cam back to the left lane.
The officer followed the car and alleged that the driver made server jerking movements and crossed the lane lines several times, switched lanes without signaling and then allegedly ran through a red light without stopping. The officer stopped the car near 87th and Cicero.
According to the officer, he could smell alcohol coming from the open window and saw two open “Modelo” beer cans in the center console. The driver Santos Ponce-Lopez allegedly had trouble keeping eye contact with the officer who noted that Ponce-Lopez had bloodshot and glassy eyes.
The officer conducted both field sobriety tests and the breathalyzer alleging that Ponce-Lopez blew a .245 on the breathalyzer. Ponce-Lopez did not have valid license according to the police. The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office approved felony aggravated Driving Under the Influence charges. Ponce-Lopez, a 26 year old Hispanic male with a Chicago address, was taken to Cook County Jail.
A reason wasn’t provided for the felony charge. A third offense for driving under the influence in Illinois is a Class 2 felony.
A Class 2 felony is punishable by 3-7 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections (prison). However, the offense is probationable, meaning the defendant can be sentenced to probation instead of prison.
Probation for a Class 2 felony offense can last for up to 48 months (4 years). But if the court sentences a defendant on a third DUI offense to probation, a jail sentence is almost sure to follow.
Per the statute, 625 ILCS 5/11-501, the offense should have the following penalties:
10 days in jail, or performance of 480 hours of community service. $1,000 DUI technology fee (paid in addition to the fine and court costs). If the defendant’s blood alcohol is greater than 0.16, which it is in this case, there is a mandatory 90 days in jail and minimum $2,500 fine.