Skip to comments.She was drunk and she was speeding [DuPage County (IL) prosecutor]
Posted on 05/26/2007 6:21:14 AM PDT by Krankor
A DuPage County prosecutor killed in a drunken driving crash was traveling more than 80 mph and possibly using her cell phone seconds before her government-issued car struck another vehicle head-on, authorities said Friday.
A 33-page police report also indicated that Jane Radostits had been drinking before the May 11 crash during a long lunch at an Oak Brook restaurant with seven other prosecutors and another office staffer.
Lab results released last week showed that Radostits, 46, had a blood-alcohol level of .25 percent -- three times the level at which a motorist is considered drunk.
"She was drunk, and she was speeding. Those are horrible circumstances," DuPage County State's Attorney Joseph Birkett said Friday after reviewing the crash report prepared by the DuPage County Sheriff's Department.
The 3:45 p.m. crash seriously injured Michele Lubinski, 36, of West Chicago, whose sport-utility vehicle was hit by Radostits' county-issued Chevy Impala. Two other vehicles were damaged in the crash near Winfield.
"My heart is broken over what's taken place," Birkett said.
He confirmed Friday that veteran prosecutor Jeffrey Kendall, who had been drinking with Radostits and later gave her a ride in his county car back to the Wheaton courthouse so she could pick up her work vehicle, has resigned in the wake of the revelations. But Birkett would not say whether he asked Kendall to leave.
Birkett would not comment on whether any of the other prosecutors who had been at the lunch at the Kona Grill in Oak Brook have been disciplined, though sources say none has been punished.
Radostits and Kendall were the first to arrive at the restaurant, coming from the DuPage County courthouse after a bomb threat forced the closure of the building. While other prosecutors arrived later and stayed for a lesser amount of time, Radostits and Kendall spent at least three hours there, investigators said.
Other prosecutors who were with Radostits, a respected deputy bureau chief in the office, estimated she had three to five drinks, but they told police they saw "no outward signs of impairment or intoxication."
Radostits and Kendall, who could not be reached for comment, had received permission to take the rest of the day off, officials said.
Data obtained from Radostits' Impala indicated that in the seconds before the crash, she was driving between 81 and 85 mph -- far exceeding the posted 45 mph limit, investigators said. There was no indication that Radostits tried to brake before the crash on Winfield Road, nor did she appear to be wearing a seat belt, investigators said.
"The excessive speed combined with the blood alcohol level may have given the driver of the Impala a false sense of how fast she was traveling," Detective Kevin Farley wrote in the crash report.
Phone records also indicate she apparently was making a cell phone call about the time the crash occurred, investigators said in the report.
Sheriff John Zaruba declined to comment on the crash report, except to say it had been released without prior review by Birkett's office.
Lubinski, who broke her left arm and left leg in the crash, remains "completely bedridden," her attorney said Friday.
Attorney Dennis Stefanowicz questioned why at least some prosecutors were drinking after the bomb threat closed down the courthouse.
"This wasn't a routine bomb threat," he said. "It seemed to be more of a party on behalf of the DuPage County state's attorney's office."
I knew a dude who blew .24 and could hardly stand up. The guy was 6'5'' and went a bit over 250lbs.
In Virginia, .15 is automatic ten days in jail for first offense. .25 is catatonic, how anyone could get behind the wheel of a car is astonishing.
Data obtained from the Impala? Is there something going on that I'm not aware of?
I thought Flight Data Recorders were only used in airplanes.
It has always been a conservative Republican county and its special dynamics and attractive surroundings reflect outstanding Republican governance for well over a century.
Joe Birkett is a conservative State's Attorney. He frequently speaks as an invited guest at many conservative breakfasts, picnics and meetings such as the welll-known TAPROOT organization (Traditions And Principles Republican Often Overlook Today) of which I was a founder many years ago.
I know the guy. He's a good Christian family man, and a tough law enforcer. I don't buy that he's "covering up" anything at this moment when an investigation is ongoing and the family will be burying the deceased.
Was she a Dem? If so, nuff said.
So the SUV caused the whole thing???
If there was a GPS unit in the car, it was recording speed.
Many newer model cars collect telemetry. On-Star is considered a security risk by some government agencies.
Not true, I think all illegals are exempt. Ask the head cop at virginia beach. Sac off
Lots of cars have data recorders these days.
Alcoholics can tolerate a lot of booze. They’re still impaired, but ambulatory.
Where have you been for the last few years, on a desert island?
If you pay attention at all, you would know that modern computers in cars are also capable of recording events and statistics, such as speed, throttle position, etc.
A lot of cars have monitors that store data for a short while. After crashes the data can be recovered...
Naturally... it's part of their culture
She was apparently also talking on her cell phone and not wearing a seat belt while driving 81 mph in a 45 mph zone. No signs of braking. A lot of senseless tragedy would have been averted had she simply left the car in the restaurant parking lot and taken a cab home.
That's right. You or I would be prostrate and close to unconscious with a BAC like that. We couldn't find our car keys in our own pocket, much less figure out how to use them. Someone who is driving with that kind of BAC is unquestionably a long-term alcoholic.
The guy was 6'5'' and went a bit over 250lbs.
Well, that doesn't really tell us much, because the BAC is expressed as a percentage of blood volume and thus is indirectly normalized for body mass. He would be approximately as drunk as the woman prosecutor.
If a 95-lb woman and your friend the 250-pounder both drink the same amount of alcohol, her BAC would end up much higher than his, and she would be more drunk. If they have the same BAC, it means he drank much more than she did.
That's just a reflection of what every college boy already knows about getting "lightweight" girls drunk.
Almost or all GM produced vehicles since about 2004 include a scaled-down black box that stores the last 30 seconds or so of vehicle information, including speed, whether brakes were applied, etc.
See http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-3513_7-6731442-1.html for one article about it.
I wonder if she’d ever been pulled over before for DUI and was never charged? I can’t believe this was the first time she’d ever driven impaired. If so, someone’s got some ‘splainin’ to do...
Terribly written piece. Did she die in the crash or not?
It's as difficult to find registered Dem attorneys in Du Page county as it is to find registered GOP attorneys in Cook county, the domain of the Daley fiefdom.
Just another Friday in America, with your tax dollars hard at work.
The same lethal combination that killed the St. Louis Cardinals’ pitcher Josh Hancock recently—alcohol, speed, and using a cell phone while driving.
What a load of BS! What were those 3-5 "drinks"? Doubles? Triples? 48 oz Margaritas?
The entire lot of them should resign.
Aren't these people as prosecutors required to uphold laws if they are able to prosecute? Do they not also prosecute people who fail to keep people from harming others? People who see someone who is obviously a danger to society are required to do something to stop them. Officers of the court would have more guilt than the normal citizen. They others need to arrested for inaction.
Excessive speed gave the driver a false impression of how fast she was going? The faster you go, the slower it seems? Anyone give this Detective a breath test before letting him make this pronouncement?
It's the "Makerboiler" where you get a mug of whiskey and a shotglass of beer.
.25 BAC for a 150lb woman is at least 24 beers in a 3 to 5 hour period. Few people are even capable of drinking even close to that much without passing out first. Standing would be next to impossible. Meanwhile she’s out speeding and chit chatting..a holier than though prosecutor responsible for putting “bad” people behind bars. I wonder how many .08 DUI people (4 beers) she prosecuted. This was one hardcore career alcoholic.
Maybe those 3-5 drinks were this size.
Of course they're capable. Other than some car rental companies, I didn't know they were actually doing it. Seems to me to be some sort of 4th or 5th amendment violation.
First line of the article: A DuPage County prosecutor killed in a drunken driving crash
Radostits was once a Cook County prosecutor, so it’s possible she was a Dem who switched parties when she moved to DuPage. I voted for Birkett for Attorney General because I always believed him to be a tough prosecutor, but this whole story stinks to high heaven. There’s a story in the Trib with a lot more facts, but you need to register to read it.
Birkett is playing Sargent Shultz here- I know nothing, I see nothing. The woman blows a .25 and he doesn’t have any idea she’s got a drinking problem? A batch of prosecutors take half a day off after a bomb scare? Birkett won’t mention if the other prosecutors were drinking? Kendall resigned earlier but told reporters he was going on vacation. Birkett remained mum. Birkett also won’t say if he asked Kendall to resign. The sheriff won’t respond to questions. Birkett is hiding something and I have a feeling this story is gonna get a lot bigger.
>>>In Virginia, .15 is automatic ten days in jail for first offense. .25 is catatonic, how anyone could get behind the wheel of a car is astonishing.
sons friend was .034 when he wrapped his Oldsmobile around a telephone pole. I have seen them as high as .37
My understanding is that the computer chip in the newer vehicles copies the last 30 seconds of everything happening with the drivetrain and engine. It is lost if the battery is disconnected.
This story says Radostits was a republican:
Radostits was active in Republican Party politics and aspired to be a judge. Last fall, she was one of two finalists for an associate judgeship and it was widely believed she soon would be appointed to the bench. She had a second home in DuPage County and the family planned to move there.
I'll never forget a German drinking game that I participated in on 12/30/79: well before it ended, I stopped counting at 12 shots of Jagermeister, washed down by several litres of Holsten Pils.
Don't know what my BAT level was, but I didn't drive home. That was the only time I played that game...the unfortunate part of it all was that I was unable to eat dinner the next day, so I missed out on a home cooked meal of sauerbraten.
At the time, I was at the nadir of my tolerance for alcohol: 25 years old (and in excellent physical condition), survived four years at a school once known for partying, and had been living in Germany for almost three years.
Today, the same stunt would probably kill me.
The reasons used for recording the data are smog control and warranty authentication. Never would they violate our rights, you should know that. This is America, the land of the free ..............and stupid.
“”Data obtained from Radostits’ Impala indicated that in the seconds before the crash, she was driving between 81 and 85 mph”
Data obtained from the Impala? Is there something going on that I’m not aware of?
I thought Flight Data Recorders were only used in airplanes.”
There is a continually active box in most new cars that provide a pile of data, such as speed, braking, seatbelt buckled, airbag deployment, chronometer time, accel and decel rates, ignition key usage, etc. The data is in a rolling base, so old data is continually dropping off the database.
An officer can download and view all of this data at the scene of the accident.
I was talking to an officer who said the data is perfectly admissible in court, and has stopped many legal challenges when the data is presented to the defendant.
Did you vote absentee from there for Mr. Birkett?
Makes you wonder how many were the 3 beer .08 DUI candidates, whose lives and families were destroyed by frivolous charges, massive fees, and lost jobs, despite being found innocent.
This does not diminish all her good work, Jane was a dedicated prosecutor who removed many dangerous drivers from our roadways, said Charlene Chapman, executive director of the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists.
Fate works in mysterious ways.
DUI Cops, attorneys and judges should all lead by example, and have their business and personal cars wired with interlock devices, and must blow into a machine each time they start their cars.
Radostits’ family lives right around the corner from me. She was loved and respected by this community.
It is a sad day in Homer Glen. I hope the media doesn’t go over the top on this story. There is really only one “bad guy” in this and unfortunately, she cannot defend herself from rumors and innuendo.
.25!!!!!!!! How did no one think that she might just be a *little* too drunk to drive?!?!
Flash chips in most cars. My company has used them against employees in the past.
I don't know if anyone has ever had one. Even Fat Ted wouldn't spoil his mug of whiskey with a beer.
It was on a list some of my friends and I came up with about how to get messed up in a hurry. Others on the list were the Coke&Rum (just enough Coke to give the rum some color) and drilling a hole in the bottom a liquor bottle to shotgun it.
Must have been quite a lunch. How great is it to work for the government!!
The election was in 2002. I moved to Moldava in ‘04.
I have been a fireman for 19 years. No matter how blind stinking drunk someone is, they have always had “2 beers.”
The fact that they say she had 3-5 probably means pitchers...
Maybe she was drinking dry martinis or Rob Roys or Harry Buffalo...
According to this link, a person weighing 140 lbs, who had 5 “rob roy” drinks over the course of 2 hours, would have a blood alcohol level of .26 (or .21 for the martinis)