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Blood Test in Lake County Judge's DUI Case Thrown Out

Illinois Drunk Driving Defense Attorney

Prosecutors are moving forward with a drunken-driving case against a Lake County judge, despite the death of the arresting officer, the lack of video evidence and, most recently, a judge's decision to throw out a blood alcohol test.

Barred from the trial scheduled to start Monday are test results taken from blood samples drawn when Judge David Hall was taken to a Libertyville hospital following his April 2008 arrest, according to defense attorney Douglas Zeit. The sample was tested at an Illinois State Police lab more than two weeks later, but no preservatives were used as required by state law for it to be admissible in a DUI case, Zeit said.

The blood sample that Brown barred from evidence allegedly showed that Hall's blood-alcohol level was 0.107 percent; the legal limit is 0.08. Hall challenged the finding and the hospital procedures that led to the result. One expert said Kane County Judge Keith Brown followed the law in the latest ruling. Brown is presiding over the case against Hall.

"The judge is saying, 'Wait a minute, you did it improperly, and you can't have use of it,'" said Stephen Komie, a Chicago defense lawyer who was not involved in the case. "This is an increasingly difficult case to prove when the person who claims the judge was intoxicated has passed away. There's no way to cross-examine him." Komie, who has defended people accused of DUI for 35 years, said most cases would have been dropped by prosecutors with so little evidence.

Police Officer Jesse Goldsmith, who stopped Hall, died of a heart attack in June 2008. Goldsmith completed much of the paperwork and would likely have been the key prosecution witness at trial. Another officer, Mark Sosnoski, who backed up Goldsmith from another vehicle during Hall's arrest, is expected to testify. At a previous hearing, he said that he saw Hall try to roll up his window on Goldsmith, who then pepper-sprayed Hall.

Prosecutors have said that one of two squad cars that pulled Hall over that night had a VHS system that was not working and that the digital recording system in the second squad did not capture the arrest. The Illinois attorney general's office is handling the prosecution, because of Hall's ties to the Lake County state's attorney's office and judges.

To defend yourself against DUI charges, especially when your professional license or career is at stake, contact the experienced Illinois attorneys at Komie and Associates at 312-263-2800 for a free consultation.

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