The Chicago Personal Injury Law Blog

Diana Paz Drunk When Released to Her Death

In September, we wrote about the death of Diana Paz. The 25-year-old Chicago woman was arrested for a DUI and was later released by Illinois State police at a gas station. As the woman walked home, she was struck and killed by a motorist.

Her family filed a discovery lawsuit against the police to learn about the circumstances of her arrest and release. This week, it was revealed that Paz's blood alcohol level was nearly twice the legal limit when she was killed.

At the time of her death, there were a lot of questions as to how the police could arrest a DUI suspect who was obviously intoxicated and then release the person just hours later, in the early morning hours, at a gas station.

Police defended its actions by calling Paz "alert" when a trooper dropped her off, reports the Chicago Tribune. But the Cook County Medical Examiner's report showing Paz's level of drunkenness raises questions about whether Paz in any shape to be released by herself with no purse or cell phone.

As Diana Paz's family has already hired a lawyer and brought a discovery lawsuit to learn more about the circumstances surrounding Paz's death, the next likely step is a wrongful death lawsuit.

In the lawsuit, the family would argue that the police department was violated its duty to protect a suspect under its care. The family could argue that the police was careless in ensuring that Paz was capable of being released and careless in dropping the woman off at the gas station as opposed to her home.

Medical examiners determined that Diana Paz was still very drunk at the time of her release. This evidence would likely be the cornerstone of a wrongful death lawsuit against the Illinois State Police.

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