South Holland police officer charged in fatal DUI crash

The Tragic Consequences of DUI

Off-Duty Police Officer Faces Charges for Fatal Crash

An off-duty police officer from South Holland faces charges of reckless homicide and aggravated driving while drunk after being involved in a fatal crash on Sunday in DeKalb County, Illinois. The crash resulted in the death of a woman who was a passenger in one of the vehicles, while three other family members suffered minor injuries.

Details of the Incident

James Corralejo, the off-duty officer, was identified as the driver of the other vehicle that caused the crash. When responding officers arrived at the scene, they said that Corralejo was under the influence of alcohol while driving. He was arrested and charged with reckless homicide and aggravated driving while drunk.

According to DeKalb police, Corralejo had a blood-alcohol level of 0.154, nearly twice the legal limit. He is currently in custody in DeKalb County, and if found guilty of his charges, could face up to 14 years in prison.

The Impact of DUI

This tragic incident highlights the devastating consequences of driving under the influence. DUI is a serious crime and can result in severe legal penalties, from fines and jail time to revoked licenses and community service. More importantly, however, it can result in accidents and fatalities, causing immense emotional and physical harm to victims and their families.

The victim in this case, Graciela Reza-Contreras, was a grandmother and passenger in a car with three other family members when the crash occurred. Her death has left her family grieving and has prompted them to set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for funeral costs.

Driving under the influence not only endangers the lives of those on the road but also has wider social and economic impacts. The costs of accidents related to DUI are estimated to be over $44 billion annually in the United States alone, including medical expenses, property damage, and lost productivity.

The Responsibility of Law Enforcement

The fact that James Corralejo is a police officer makes this incident particularly disturbing. As police officers, individuals are expected to uphold the law and protect the public, acting with integrity and responsibility, both on and off-duty.

The South Holland Police Department has issued a statement expressing their expectation that their employees hold themselves to a high standard of conduct, even when off-duty, and that the circumstances of this incident appear to fall far short of that expectation. An internal investigation is underway.

This tragedy underscores the importance of responsible alcohol consumption and the need for law enforcement officials to hold themselves accountable to the same standards they are charged with upholding in the line of duty.


The loss of a life due to DUI is an all-too-familiar tragedy in our society. It is up to all of us to take responsibility for our actions and make safe choices when it comes to driving. We extend our deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of Graciela Reza-Contreras and encourage all individuals to do their part in preventing future tragedies.

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