MADD’s Court Monitoring Program enlists court monitors to observe and document what happens in the courtroom during impaired driving case proceedings. The program was created to ensure that impaired driving offenders are prosecuted and justice is achieved. Court monitoring is a tool proven to affect the adjudication process and is recognized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as an effective countermeasure to reduce impaired driving 1 . Court monitors on the local scale can impact the
handling of impaired driving cases by their mere presence in the court room. Court monitoring is intended to enhance transparency and accountability within the criminal justice system and reduce the likelihood of repeat offenses. One way this goal is achieved is by sharing data and observations with law enforcement, judges, prosecutors, and the public to promote awareness of impaired driving and ensure accountability for all impaired driving offenders. To reduce future offenses, MADD® supports swift and unbiased treatment of all impaired driving cases. 1 Richard, C. M., Magee, K., Bacon-Abdelmoteleb, P., & Brown, J. L. (2018, April). Countermeasures that work: A highway safety countermeasure guide for State Highway Safety Offic- es, Ninth edition (Report No. DOT HS 812 478). Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Illinois staff and volunteers monitored nearly 9,000 DUI cases in Illinois across 44 different counties in 2020. By the end of the year, roughly 5,300 cases had been opened and another 3,500 cases had been closed, meaning there was some type of disposition recorded in each of those cases. Overall, this report shows that impaired driving is still a serious offense that takes place on Illinois roadways every day. All the following data represents only of the cases that were monitored by MADD. It is important to note that not every case nor every county was monitored by MADD or had a Court Monitoring presence. A few important takeaways from this report shows: roughly 18% of known cases involved drugs other than alcohol, most offenders were male and typically in the 21-29 age group, and about 70% of all cases monitored by MADD that have been adjudicated resulted in a guilty conviction.
Illinois State Report (reporting period: 1/1/2020 – 12/31/2020)
This report is designed to present observations and trends relative to the counties monitored and is not intended to be a statistical analysis.
Pending Cases Monitored:
Adjudicated Cases Monitored:
Total Cases Monitored in 2020:
*Pending cases are cases waiting a judgement result.
Of all the DUI cases monitored by MADD, there were about 7,200 where the gender of the offender was known (80%). Of these cases, about 72% were cases involving male offenders and roughly 28% of cases involved female offenders. According to the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office, the breakdown of male and female drivers is essentially a 50/50 split. According to the cases monitored by MADD, 5% of DUI arrests involved underage drinkers which is an alarm- ingly high rate. The age group with the greatest DUI rate was 21-29, which represented about 32% of all cases. It is important to note that of all cases monitored, males in the 21-29 age group represented 23% of all cases, thus making this age range of males the most represented group of all cases. With the cases being broken down by decade, the represented number of DUIs dropped successively with each group. With young people being so representative in this data for DUI offenses, prevention education should continue to be impressed on individuals at young ages to try and prevent this behavior.
Impaired Driving Average Defendant Age
Impaired Driving Average Dipositions by County
It is important to note that this data comes from only the cases that MADD monitored. MADD did not monitor or record every case in every county, and the data collection was at random. Of all cases monitored by MADD in 2020, nearly 70% of the cases resulted in a guilty DUI conviction. The data represented shows that some counties had much higher conviction rates than others. It is MADD’s belief that continued court monitoring will continue to create a strong presence in courtrooms across Illinois, and this will allow for more data to be recorded which will continue to give an even clearer, more accurate picture of judicial and prosecutorial patterns throughout the state.
Impaired Driving By Case Type 2019 and 2020
Drugged Impaired Driving
In review of 2020 cases monitored, MADD recorded whether a case was related specifically to alcohol and/or other drugs in over 56% of cases. Out of these cases, 18% of them involved other drugs while 82% had alcohol present. In looking at the cases monitored by MADD in 2019, 17% of cases involved drugs other than alcohol while 83% did not. This is important to note as 2020 was the first year that recreational marijuana became legal in Illinois, so there was a slight increase in drugged driving cases out of what MADD monitored. For comparison, Colorado which legalized recreational marijuana in 2013, saw an increase each year from 2013 to 2017 in the percentage of all traffic deaths where at least one driver tested positive for marijuana. 1 As more data is analyzed post-legalization of marijuana in Illinois, data trends will show what impact this has on driving.
Key Findings and Observations Illinois
The year 2020 presented challenges to everyone, including MADD Illinois, which impacted the day-to-day business of monitoring DUI cases. Since mid-March 2020, many Illinois courts have remained either closed, or open to only essential personnel. Therefore, MADD was unable to be physically present in courts for much of the year. However, staff and volunteers were determined to still monitor many DUI cases throughout the state, to record this critical data that can provide an accurate picture of judicial and prosecutorial patterns throughout the state. With that in mind, staff and volunteers worked diligently to monitor cases remotely, sometimes through Zoom court proceedings, and to data mine and gather case information through online databases. It is MADD’s hope that courts can safely reopen soon, and staff and volunteers will be able to physically re-enter courtrooms across Illinois in order to continue to gather DUI case data and provide a strong presence in the courtroom. Despite the challenges presented to court monitors because of the global pandemic, Illinois staff and volunteers still managed to monitor DUI cases in 45 counties. Some counties had enough cases to represent a sample large enough to be included in the report, while others had smaller sample sizes. It is the goal of MADD Illinois to continue to monitor DUI cases in these counties, and possibly others, in the future so more data can be used to analyze prosecutorial and judicial patterns. The counties MADD Illinois court monitored either in person or remotely after the pandemic started include: Bond, Boone, Bureau, Carroll, Clay, Coles, DeKalb, DuPage, Effingham, Grundy, Henry, Iroquois, Jefferson, Jersey, Jo Daviess, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, LaSalle, Lee, Livingston, Macon, Macoupin, Madison, Marion, Marshall, McHenry, McLean, Mercer, Monroe, Montgomery, Ogle, Peoria, Pike, Rock Island, Saint Clair, Sangamon, Stephenson, Tazewell, Whiteside, Will, Williamson, and Winnebago.
In 2019, 314 people were killed in alcohol-related traffic crashes which was 31% of all traffic-related fatalities in the state. 2
From all the cases monitored, MADD found a few trends and made some general observations that include: • Based on 2020 cases monitored, MADD found that 15% of cases had the additional charge of Driving Without Insurance. Driving without car insurance can increase penalties associated with a DUI charge. • In 2019, 314 people were killed in alcohol-related traffic crashes which was 31% of all traffic-related fatalities in the state 2 .A very similar trend can be found in 2016, 2017 and 2018 as in each of those years, of all traffic-related fatalities in the state, 31% of those fatalities were alcohol-related. This shows that impaired driving plays a significant role in traffic-related fatalities each year. • Winnebago County and Rock Island County had a very high rate of DUIs where a traffic crash occurred. Of the cases monitored, over 50% of these cases resulted in crashes. DUIs are a serious, dangerous offense, and this type of sample shows the seriousness of a crime like DUI. • Overall, Illinois prosecutors took child endangerment cases very seriously. When child endangerment charges were permissible. According to Illinois law, child endangerment occurs when an individual knowingly causes or permits the life or health of a child under the age of 18 to be endangered, or when an individual causes a child to be placed in circumstances that endanger a child’s life or health. If an individual commits a DUI with a child under the age of 18 in the vehicle, child endangerment charges can be added on to the DUI. • It was noticed that many counties in Illinois adjudicated cases in a year or less, including DuPage, Kankakee, Kendall, Livingston, McLean, Peoria, Tazewell, Will, and Williamson. This shows prompt action by these courts to get DUI cases adjudicated in a timely manner. • As noted earlier in the report, MADD Illinois noticed a high rate of underage DUIs. Of all cases monitored, 5% involved impaired drivers under the age of 21. Counties that saw high underage DUI rates included DeKalb, Kane, LaSalle, McLean, Madison, Peoria, and Tazewell. This data shows that early alcohol and drug prevention education is imperative in preventing this problem. • With the legalization of recreational marijuana in Illinois in 2020, MADD noticed a higher rate of DUI cases involving drugs. Counties with an increase in drugged driving rates included: DeKalb, Kane, Lake, LaSalle, Livingston, Madison, McHenry, McLean, Peoria, Tazewell, and Will. In addition, trends or patterns in specific counties were noticed, and these county-specific trends include:
Solutions & Call To Action
o Continue to support LawEnforcement all around the state as their work saves lives. o Encourage more efficient prosecution of DUI cases. oWe call on judges and prosecutors to heed the deleterious effects that unnecessarily prolonged cases have on conviction rates, victims, and offenders recidivate. o Heightened collaboration with advocacy groups like MADD. o Expanded and increased education to youth about the dangers of underage drinking and drug usage. o Increased and improved public education about how recreational marijuana is legal to consume in Illinois, but it is still illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana.
MADD Illinois would like to thank all Law Enforcement partners across Illinois. Whether a DUI resulted in a conviction or not, your work to arrest a DUI offender and take that individual off the road may have saved lives by their arrest. Thank you for your dedication and hard work to keep everyone safe on Illinois roadways, and for doing your part in the enforcement and prevention of impaired driving. MADD Illinois would also like to thank all State’s Attorney’s Offices across the state for your great work in prosecuting DUI cases to prevent offenders from committing this serious crime again. Your work helps enforce DUI penalties which help saves lives and keep roadways safe in Illinois. MADD Illinois would also like to thank all Judges across the state of Illinois who work to uphold DUI laws and to provide fair and clear judgement in impaired driving cases. Impaired driving is a serious, dangerous crime, and your work as judges helps enforce DUI penalties to prevent these crimes from occurring again. MADD Illinois would also like to thank the Illinois Department of Transportation which has been a tremendous partner to MADD by providing mission-critical grant funds that help support the Court Monitoring Program in Illinois. Thank you for your continued support as we work together to create safer roadways to save lives. IF YOU OR A LOVED ONE HAS BEEN AFFECTED BY DRUNK OR DRUG- IMPAIRED DRIVING, MADD IS HERE TO HELP. CALL OUR VICTIM/ SURVIVOR 24-HOUR HELPLINE AT 877-MADD-HELP (877-623-3435).
MADD Illinois concludes from our work in 2020 and from this report that more work is needed to prevent impaired driving on our roadways. Court monitoring is one of MADD’s many programs that works in impaired driving prevention. MADD Illinois is also a charter member of both the Illinois DUI Task Force and the Illinois DUI Cannabis Task Force. Efforts must continue to collaborate with partners all around the state, including law enforcement, State’s Attorney’s Offices, judges, schools, corporations, all citizens, and others as we all play a part in keeping impaired driving off our roadways. MADD Illinois has made strong efforts and will continue to push harder into the future to keep impaired driving off Illinois roadways.
1. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Fatality Analysis Reporting Systems (FARS), 2006-2011 and Colorado Department of Transportation 2012-2017. 2. National Center for Statistics and Analysis. (2020, December). Overview of Motor Vehicle Crashes in 2019. (Traffic Safety Facts Research Note. Report No. DOT HS 813 060). National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. References
Driving a vehicle while impaired is a dangerous crime, yet continues to happen across the United States. Each year, about 1 million individuals are arrested. What happens after those arrests depends on the criminal justice system. As a MADD court monitor, you can get the insider’s perspective on the judicial system while making a vital contribution to your local community. Your presence in court and the data you collect will help make sure our laws are upheld and the criminal justice system does what it is intended to do: Keep us safe. Court monitors achieve the work of MADD’s Court Monitoring Program by doing the following:
Remind law enforcement that MADD wants to see their cases prosecuted to the fullest extend of the law
Track conviction rates and sanctions
Identify trends in offender age, gender, and blood alcohol concentration level
Notify judicial system of deficiencies
Create public outcry when weaknesses go unaddressed
For more information about court monitoring efforts in your state, please visit madd.org/courts .Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8
Made with FlippingBook HTML5