Going out Wednesday? Get a cab, designated driver
If you plan to throw back more than a few cold ones Wednesday, you might want to call a cab or have another option to get home besides driving yourself.
The Kane County State's Attorney's Office will conduct a "No Refusal" night, the first time the office has held an operation the day before Thanksgiving, which is considered one of the biggest party days of the year.
In a "No Refusal" event, prosecutors work with local police to get search warrants for people who are arrested on charges of DUI but don't consent to a breath test or blood draw. A judge and a phlebotomist are on call, and prosecutors work with authorities to obtain search warrants in about an hour before the arrestee can sober up. If a person refuses a test after a warrant is issued, they could face felony charges.
Kane County State's Attorney Joe McMahon said authorities made four drunken driving arrests during the latest "No Refusal" event the weekend before Halloween.
Past operations held near Halloween in 2009 and 2011 netted 14 and seven DUI arrests, respectively, but McMahon sees the decline as a good sign that people are taking precautions and not driving impaired.
"Obviously, the goal is to have no arrests in these events," he said.
Prison awaits Aurora shooter: A 21-year-old Aurora man faces a minimum 20 years in prison after being found guilty of shooting at supposed rival gang members in two midday attacks during Labor Day weekend in 2011.
A Kane County jury convicted Alejandro Rodriguez, 21, of two counts of armed violence, along with one count each of aggravated discharge of a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school, aggravated discharge of a firearm, and possession of a firearm by a street gang member.
Rodriguez faces up to 60 years in prison when sentenced Dec. 18.
According to prosecutors, Rodriguez was a passenger in a car the afternoon of Sept. 3, 2011, on Aurora's east side, near North State and Kane streets, when he saw a person believed to be a rival gang member. Rodriguez argued with the man before firing three shots from a .22-caliber revolver. The bullets missed the person but hit a nearby house and vehicle parked in the driveway.
Rodriguez and the driver left the scene and stopped at Beach and Columbia streets, where they saw another person they thought was a rival gang member. He fired three shots and the bullets again missed their target, hitting a house and a car.
No one was injured in either shooting. Police arrested Rodriguez a short time later and found 300 rounds of ammunition at his home, authorities said.
"These were brazen acts of gang violence carried out in broad daylight on a holiday weekend that put the safety of the public in grave danger," Kane County State's Attorney Joe McMahon said. "Motivated solely by his desire to improve his rank in a street gang, Mr. Rodriguez showed absolutely no regard for anyone."
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