July 2018

Illinois Traffic Penalties

Monday, July 16th, 2018

A new study has found that Illinois comes down the hardest on speeders than nearly any other state and has some of the harshest penalties in the nation. However, Illinois' police force does not give out the most speeding tickets - that is left up to the state of Iowa (but beware driving - Illinois is very close to Iowa). Illinois was tied with three other states for eighth-strictest overall and fourth in terms of speeding enforcement, behind only Virginia, Arizona, and New Mexico. An analyst of the study indicated that one ticket in Illinois gets a speeder closer to a license suspension than other states. It has about 45% of how much a speeding ticket counts toward a suspension and most states a ticket is 15% counted towards a suspension. Illinois is high on the list due to the long jail sentences and costly fines for reckless driving. Illinois has some of the highest days in jail at 10 days and 20 for a second and the fines are some of the most expensive in the country as well.

Illinois employs a point system to determine the length of suspension or even revocation for traffic offenses. The point total needed for suspension or revocation changes based on the driver's past offenses.

For a driver without any license suspensions or revocations in the past seven years, the Illinois penalties are as follows:

•  Point totals 0 through 14 result in no penalty;

•  Point totals 15 through 44 result in a two-month suspension;

•  Point totals 45 through 74 result in a three-month suspension;

•  Point totals 75 through 89 result in a six-month suspension;

•  Point totals 90 through 99 result in a nine-month suspension;

•  Point totals 100 through 109 result in a one-year suspension; and

•  Point totals 110 and beyond result in revocation of driving privileges.

For a driver with one license suspension or revocation in the past seven years, the Illinois penalties are as follows:

•  Point totals 0 through 14 result in no penalty;

•  Point totals 15 through 44 result in a four-month suspension;

•  Point totals 45 through 74 result in a six-month suspension;

•  Point totals 75 through 109 result in a one-year suspension; and

•  Point totals 110 and beyond result in revocation of driving privileges.

If you are dealing with traffic offenses in Illinois, it is important to take immediate action. As points add up on your driver's license, the risk of suspension or revocation increases. In such situations, it can be beneficial to retain the services of a skilled Illinois traffic lawyer. Our office is here to help. Appointments may be scheduled through our toll free number at 888-488-4LAW or through our website at https://www.peterferracuti.com

-Attorney Kendall Hodges

The Limits of Liability Protection

Friday, July 6th, 2018

Much earlier this year (it was actually prior to the website update, so whether it is easily assessible at this point is an open question), I wrote on this blog about the Illinois Baseball Facility Liability Act (IBFLA), an Illinois state law which provides ballparks (and the teams and organizations which run them) limited immunity from lawsuits regarding injuries sustained by spectators except in cases where the venues engaged in willfully or wantonly dangerous conduct or their netting was defective or insufficient. The case discussed in that blog, brought by a man blinded by a foul ball at Wrigley field, is still working its way through the courts as John Loos v. Major League Baseball, the Cubs themselves having been dismissed from the claim a couple of months ago. Similar laws exist for other sports, and I promised in January that if an interesting hockey injury claim came up during the steamy days of summer, I would dutifully write a follow-up.

While I'm happy to report that icehouses have apparently remained safe for spectators, I did see note of sports litigation that provides an interesting contrast to the Loos matter: Hoffman v. Borough of Sewickley, out of a circuit court in the state of Pennsylvania.

Hoffman concerns the tragic circumstance of Zachary Hoffman, a Little League player who was struck by a baseball which flew through a gap in a fence and struck him while he was sitting in a dugout. He suffered a brain bleed and a severe traumatic brain injury as a result, conditions which will affect him for the rest of his life. Attorneys for Zachary alleged that the dugout was located too close to the backstop of the field, that a fence by the dugout failed to provide adequate protection, and that a similar incident the previous season should have provided notice of the danger posed by the setup. Earlier this year, a jury awarded him $1.7 million dollars in damages.

Some key points here. Obviously, Zachary was not a spectator at all, but a player, and therefore spectator injury liability law isn't a defense. Second, the plaintiff in this case was a child, and that age group is simply going to have more wild hits than older players, something that must be taken into account when constructing fields and any safety measures such as fences. Little League organizations have guidelines for these sorts of things, and the field in this case didn't follow them. Finally, this sort of clear structural danger within the field alleged are exactly sorts of things that the Illinois law has exceptions for-if the fencing had been sufficient to protect the dugout (or viewers in the case of IBFLA), then Zachary would not have been injured. The dimensions of the field and the setup of the dugout in the Pennsylvania case was simply not safe for players, and a terrible injury was the result.

-Attorney Travis Dunn