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'No Refusal' weekend nets four arrests

One alleged DUI accident resulted in teenager's death

Four drivers suspected of driving under the influence were cited during Grundy County State’s Attorney Jason Helland’s “No Refusal” Super Bowl Weekend.

Those charged included 19-year-old Matthew Moser of Coal City, who was charged on Friday, Feb. 1, with Aggravated Driving Under the Influence proximately causing a death. This charge is a Class 2 felony punishable from 3 to 14 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. Probation is only possible if extraordinary circumstances exist. 

John Moss of Gardner, Matthew Earle of Yorkville, and Brian Thompson of Rochelle were all charged with DUI on Feb. 3.

"The charges against these defendants are not proof of guilt," Helland reminded. "A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial, in which it is the state’s burden to prove their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt."

The “No Refusal” Super Bowl Weekend was a collaborative effort of the Grundy County State’s Attorney’s Office and local law enforcement agencies. A streamlined process was put into place for law enforcement to obtain a search warrant for a blood sample if a DUI offender refused to submit to a lawfully requested test to determine the alcohol content of their blood, breath, or urine.

Helland announced the initiative on Jan. 30. The “No Refusal” Super Bowl weekend was the first initiative conducted cooperatively by the Grundy County State’s Attorney’s Office and local law enforcement. 

According to the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office, approximately 50,000 motorists each year are cited for DUI. Of those, about 40 percent refuse to submit to a blood alcohol test. The “No Refusal” operation is designed to ensure that the evidence is lawfully collected.

The operation has been buoyed by state law and the courts, including the fact that driving is a privilege granted by the Secretary of State, not a right: Illinois’ implied consent law. This law is based on the principle that when people drive on Illinois streets and roads, they have implicitly consented to submit to a lawfully requested test to determine the alcohol content of their blood, breath, urine or other bodily substance.

In addition, the United States Supreme Court, in Schmerber v. California, held that taking blood against a person’s wishes did not violate a person’s right against unreasonable searches and seizures or compelled self-incrimination.
 

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