Meet Glasgow & Olsson, Chicago’s shadiest DUI lawyers

Attorneys Thomas Glasgow and Stephanie Olsson.
Attorneys Thomas Glasgow and Stephanie Olsson.

It goes without saying that, in our society, everyone is supposed to be considered innocent until proven guilty. Moreover, anyone accused of any crime should have access to a decent lawyer.

That said, deciding to drive intoxicated is one of the most irresponsible and destructive things a person can do. Everyone knows it’s wrong, and there’s absolutely no excuse for it, especially in a city like Chicago with plentiful transit, where one can also summon an Uber or Lyft ride home at the touch of a smartphone.

The fact is, if a police officer pulls you over for driving drunk or high, it may seem like a misfortune. But in reality, they’re doing you a huge favor by preventing you from killing innocent people, and/or yourself. And hopefully the ensuing legal consequences will make you think twice before making such a profoundly foolish and selfish decision in the future.

But recently the Schaumburg-based criminal and divorce and litigation firm Glasgow and Olsson has taken excusing and enabling intoxicated drivers to new lows. They’ve published a series of posts that bend over backwards to coddle dangerous drivers, essentially saying “It could happen to anyone — it’s not your fault.” They’re also implying that there’s something unfair about police doing their job by pulling over suspected intoxicated drivers and conducting DUI stings to deter reckless behavior.

A Glasgow and Olsson Facebook post, highlighted. "It's not your fault you chose to drink and drive -- blame the holiday hustle and bustle!"
A Glasgow and Olsson Facebook post, highlighted. “It’s not your fault you chose to drink and drive — blame the holiday hustle and bustle!”

The firm first crossed my radar in November when a post titled “What to do if you arrested for a DUI on Thanksgiving” popped up in my Facebook feed. The article draws a sympathetic picture of a person whose Norman Rockwell-esque plans are spoiled by a DUI bust.

You had big plans for Thanksgiving weekend. Every year you watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with your family. Perhaps you head over to a relative’s house to enjoy a large, home-cooked Thanksgiving Day meal with your family and friends and watch the football game. You had big plans for a relaxing and fun Thanksgiving weekend… If you are arrested for a DUI on Thanksgiving weekend, you might spend your entire weekend or longer in jail.

The Facebook comments aren’t so charitable.

“DUI should carry mandatory penalty,” said one person. “You are operating a vehicle that could be used as a deadly weapon. [Potentially] killing families and other innocent people.”

“I don’t know, maybe don’t drive under the influence?” commented another person. “That doesn’t seem so hard.”

The photo that illustrates a Glascow and Olsson post about why choosing to drive drunk after a holiday party is totally understandable.
The photo that illustrates a Glasgow and Olsson post about why choosing to drive drunk after a holiday party is totally understandable.

Another post published near the winter holidays is more problematic, implying that driving drunk is a totally understable, normal thing to do, and getting arrested for drunk driving is simply bad luck.

All around Illinois, residents are looking forward to the holidays. Enjoying time off of work, attending holiday parties, and enjoying the merriment of the holidays. These actions make it easy to make mistakes when it comes to drinking and driving. You are coming home from a long day of work and you stop by your company’s holiday party. You decide to have two drinks, and you stay and chat for a while. You get up to leave and think you are not buzzed at all. Nonetheless, on your way home, you see a highway checkpoint. After cooperating with the police, the officer informs you that he is arresting you for a DUI. After one simple mistake, you are now facing DUI charges.

Here’s an excerpt from another post from around the holidays that provides more excuses for why a person might choose to endanger themselves and others.

At the end of the year, people often attend multiple holiday functions, many of which involve alcohol. Recent college graduates in their first office jobs might feel the pressure to drink with their new employers. Family members might let their guard down during the football game and drink one too many alcoholic beverages before getting into their vehicle to drive.

Perhaps an unexpected holiday event comes up and someone does not make a contingency plan to get home, deciding to risk driving just this one time. At Glasgow & Olsson, we understand that even the most responsible make the unbelievably bad choice not to take a ride share or designate a driver and that good people make mistakes.

Nope, choosing to drive after consuming two alcoholic beverages, which makes it difficult to gauge whether or not you are impaired, is not a “simple mistake,” it’s a reckless decision. If you pilot a potentially deadly multi-ton vehicle while buzzed or drunk, you’re not a responsible person who made a bad choice, you’re a thoughtless jerk who’s literally a menace to society.

Perhaps Stroger Hospital administrator Robert Vais considered himself to be a very responsible person before he attended a holiday party for the hospital in December 2013, and then decided to drive home with a blood alcohol level of 0.152 percent, nearly twice the legal level. That was when he struck and killed restaurant worker and former Marine Hector Avalos, 28, in Douglas Park. Vais apparently had an excellent legal defense team because he served a mere 100 days in prison for his crime.

Fortunately, the commenters on the Glasgow & Olsson post weren’t having it.

“Don’t drink and drive,” said one. “Problem solved.”

“Just don’t drive if you want to have anything to drink,” another said. “It’s not worth it. Too much to lose.”

Then there’s this post from late January called “Chicago PD and suburbs continue to cast DUI dragnet,” that suggests that if you choose to drive intoxicated and get busted, unfair policing is to blame.

The winter holidays may be over, but the Chicago Police Department is still using aggressive tactics to arrest suspected [intoxicated] drivers… Someone once said that if you go looking for trouble, then trouble is what you will find. Similarly, when police officers set out to make DUI arrests, they will arrest people for DUI.

One again, the Facebook commenters were on the case.

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Hopefully this post will make Glasgow & Olsson rethink its marketing approach. Promoting the myths that you can choose to drink and drive, putting other people’s lives and your own at risk, and still be a responsible person, or that you have anyone but yourself to blame when you get busted, is wildly irresponsible and shady.

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