Class Challenges ‘No Refusal’ Weekends

     CHICAGO (CN) – A federal class action challenges the constitutionality of Libertyville’s “no-refusal weekends,” in which drivers are not allowed to refuse blood or breath tests for noninjury, nonaccident DUI cases. The class claims that cities across Lake County and Illinois have instituted the unconstitutional no-refusal weekends.

     Named plaintiffs Cheryl Yachnin sued Libertyville, its police chief, and the Lake County attorney on behalf of the class.
     During no-refusal weekends, the city “requires all arrestees and detainees suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol to undergo a breathalyzer and/or blood test, thereby denying them their statutory right to refuse a breath or blood test.”
     Yachnin says she was pulled over without probable cause and “required to perform roadside sobriety tests while not wearing any shoes on uneven pavement littered with stones, pebbles and other road debris.”
     After refusing a Breathalyzer test, Yachnin says, she was taken to the Libertyville Police Department, where she was “detained her against her will in the rear of the squad car and appeared before a judge and requested a search warrant.”
     The search warrant was signed by the judge, but when Yachnin again refused a blood test, she was charged with criminal contempt and held in jail for more than 13 hours, she says.
     She was released the next day after posting $20,000 bond. She says she “was subsequently found not guilty because there was not probable cause for the defendants’ stop of the plaintiff.”
     She adds that “the no-refusal weekend policy has been and continues to be adopted by numerous other municipalities throughout the state and has been condoned, supervised by and implemented and prosecuted by the Lake County States’ Attorney as well as the States’ Attorney of other counties in the state.”
     Lake County, Peoria County and Kane County all have held no-refusal weekends.
     Yachnin seeks punitive damages for false arrest, malicious prosecution and civil rights and constitutional violations. She seeks an injunction and damages for being “subjected to public ridicule, unwanted and unwarranted publicity, anxiety, humiliation and emotional distress.”
     She is represented by Keith Hunt.

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