Woman with tree embedded in her car charged with DUI

Criminal defense attorneys in Michigan and other parts of the country sometimes seek to have drunk driving charges against their clients dismissed because the police officers involved may have lacked the probable cause needed to pull a vehicle over, but this strategy is unlikely to be used by attorneys representing an Illinois woman who was stopped by police on Jan. 23. According to police in Roselle, the woman's car was stopped because it had a 15-foot tree lodged in its radiator grill.

Roselle police say that they received a call at about 11:00 p.m. on Jan. 23 informing them that a car with what appeared to be a tree sticking out of its front end was proceeding southbound on Roselle Road. The sedan was subsequently pulled over in the vicinity of Irving Park Road. The officers say that they noticed that the car's airbags had been deployed, and the driver is said to have admitted to them that she struck the tree.

The officers claim that the woman seemed incoherent and smelled of alcohol, and they say that their suspicions were further aroused when the woman was unable to remember where she had been when her vehicle struck the tree. She was taken into custody and charged with drunk driving after she performed poorly on a field sobriety test.

Field sobriety tests are used by police departments as they provide officers with a consistent way of determining impairment. However, these tests are subjective in nature, and they are not always reliable. Criminal defense attorneys may challenge the results when the motorist involved is significantly overweight or suffers from certain medical conditions, among other factors.