Prosecutors will let some Cook County drivers off the hook
WGN Investigates has learned Cook County assistant state’s attorneys are being told to stop prosecuting some traffic offenses in an effort to save resources.
Later this summer prosecutors will no longer charge drivers facing misdemeanor cases of driving on a suspended license due to failure to pay tickets, fees or fines.
“The attorneys currently assigned to those cases will be reallocated to focus on matters more critical to public safety,” said a spokesperson for Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx.
Many municipalities use the threat of license revocation to encourage drivers to pay tickets, fines and fees.
Cook County prosecutors were summoned to a series of meetings this week to go over the new policies.
The state’s attorney’s office says it has worked in conjunction with city and suburban on the changes which are expected to take effect in August.
Last year, prosecutors brought 7,100 cases of the kind that will no longer be prosecuted. Some in law enforcement are concerned by the decision not pursue charges.
Some are already expressing concern. “It’s basically a get out of jail card,” said Riverside police chief Tom Weitzel. “However nowadays it’s a not-go-to-jail-card-at-all.”