Judge Bars Reinstatement of Illinois DUI Charge

A judge has denied an attempt to reinstate charges of driving under the influence in Illinois against a defendant. Franklin ‘Mitch’ Durr was arrested for IL DUI on April 22, 2008, and a plea bargain with the prosecutor lead to the DUI charge being dropped in exchange for a guilty plea to improper registration and a fine.

The Madison County State’s Attorney, William Mudge, later learned that Durr had a 1999 conviction in Missouri for involuntary manslaughter involving alcohol and 1985 judgment on a suspected DUI. Mudge said he would not have entered into the plea agreement with Durr had he known about the prior incidents, and he sought to have the order accepting the plea agreement vacated. A judge did grant the motion to vacate the acceptance order but another judge ruled that the decision did not dispose of the original plea agreement. Durr was given the opportunity to enter his plea again, under the original agreement.

The judge barred an effort by the state to pursue a new charge of drunk driving in Illinois, citing the defendant’s right against double jeopardy. Durr’s Illinois DUI defense attorney had argued over seven months ago that the 2008 charge was weak, as there was no evidence to prove his client was driving while intoxicated and the video of the arrest did not conclusively indicate impairment.

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