10/7/2005Illinois Communities Using DUI to Pay the Bills
Several Illinois communities are turning to administrative drunk driving fees to bolster local government spending projects.
Hoffman Estates, Illinois is joining surrounding communities in turning to drunk driving laws to fund local spending projects. Village Manager Jim Norris is proposing a new $500 fee that would apply to anyone arrested, but not convicted, for driving under the influence (DUI).
The village of 50,000 residents generates between 300 and 500 arrests for driving under the influence each year, meaning the new fee combined with a $100 bonus the state sends for each arrest would generate up to $300,000 in revenue.
Those accused of DUI are given the opportunity to request an independent review by the village police chief.
Norris introduced the surcharge proposal as part of a package of possible tax and fee increases to fund a new police station, a fire station and other projects within the village. Nearby Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Hanover Park and Rolling Meadows already impose the fee.
"It's an unfair hardship," [Donald Ramsell, a Wheaton attorney] said. "But people arrested for DUIs aren't too popular in the eyes of the public. I think more and more communities are going to be paying the bills with DUI arrests."Source: Drinking, driving could cost more (Hoffman Estates Review, 10/6/2005)
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