State measure would increase drunk driving penalties

May 14, 2013

House Republicans in Illinois have introduced a measure that would increase the penalties for hired drivers who work while drunk. Violators would be charged with a felony, which is punishable with up to three years in prison. Representative Dennis Reboletti, a Republican from Elmhurst, says currently only school bus drivers can be charged with felony DUI's.   Other hired drivers who are caught drinking while driving can only get a misdemeanor charge.  Reboletti says that isn't tough enough.

 “You're transporting numerous people in large vehicles. So there's more opportunity for danger when you're intoxicated. So we're giving you a special privilege above and beyond what other average drivers have. You should exercise that with due care and if you don't, then there should be extraordinary penalties for it."

 The plan stems from a weekend incident in Oswego. A limo driver taking 23 high school students to prom in a party bus was charged with a DUI.  Authorities say his blood alcohol limit was nearly three times the legal limit.