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Woman with tree protruding from her car charged with DUI

Police officers in California and other parts of the country are only permitted to pull vehicles over in certain situations, and the evidence they recover or charges the charges they file following a traffic stop may not withstand judicial scrutiny when constitutional protections appear to have been violated. Criminal defense attorneys sometimes dispute the presence of probable cause, but such legal strategies are unlikely to be adopted in the case of a 54-year-old Illinois woman who was charged with drunk driving in January 2016.

The woman's car was pulled over by Roselle police near the intersection of Irving Park Road and Roselle Road at about 11:10 p.m. Officers had been told that reports had been received about a car with some sort of plant or foliage lodged in its bodywork, and they observed a 15 foot tree protruding from the area of the radiator grill as they approached the sedan. Officers claim that the woman told them that she struck the tree somewhere in her hometown of Schaumburg.

Officers say that the woman was cited for drunk driving after she performed poorly during a field sobriety test. The officers claim that their suspicions were aroused by the woman's incoherent demeanor and the odor of alcohol present in her vehicle. The woman's case will be heard in DuPage County on April 15.

Drunk driving cases often hinge on the validity of police traffic stops and the reliability of toxicology test results. Criminal defense attorneys seeking to have such evidence excluded often face formidable challenges, and this is particularly true if their clients have made incriminating statements. Those accused of criminal acts have the right to remain silent, and defense attorneys may advise their clients to say nothing to police unless legal representation is present.

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