Illinois Lawmakers Hope to Put Brakes on Drunk Hired Drivers
By Chris Slaby
A limo driver arrested for driving drunk while taking suburban high schoolers to their prom over the weekend has spurred a call for stricter DUI laws in Illinois.
The Oswego East High School students made it safely to prom. But authorities say the driver of their party bus had a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit.
“This guy makes a wrong turn, misses a stop sign, misses a stop light, goes into a ditch, we have an entirely different story going on,” said House Minority Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego).
Cross proposes increasing the penalties for hired drivers caught drunk on the job. His legislation would make it a felony, which is punishable with up to three years in prison.
Now, most intoxicated hired drivers can only be charged with a misdemeanor, which State Rep. Dennis Reboletti (R-Elmhurst) said does not go far enough.
“People are entrusting these hired drivers to be sober, to be exercising due care and diligence," Reboletti said. "And when they're not, there should be severe penalties.”
It is already a feloy in Illinois if a school bus driver gets a DUI.