Archive for May, 2014

DUI Cannabis and Sobriety Tests Hard to Prove

May 28th, 2014 at 11:32 am

If arrested for DUI Cannabis and given a sobriety test, you might be able to pass even if you are high as a kite, according to an article in the New York Times. The article cites to several studies that support that alcohol-based field sobriety tests are not valid for proving someone is under the influence of cannabis. Her are some excerpts:

If you are pulled over on suspicion of drunken driving, the police officer is likely to ask you to complete three tasks: Follow a pen with your eyes while the officer moves it back and forth; get out of the car and walk nine steps, heel to toe, turn on one foot and go back; and stand on one leg for 30 seconds.

“In a 2012 study published in the journal Psychopharmacology, only 30 percent of people under the influence of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, failed the field test. And its ability to identify a stoned driver seems to depend heavily on whether the driver is accustomed to being stoned.

“A 21-year-old on his first bender and a hardened alcoholic will both wobble on one foot. But the same is not necessarily true of a driver who just smoked his first joint and the stoner who is high five days a week. In another study, 50 percent of the less frequent smokers failed the field test.

Photo

Tommy Chong and Cheech Marin in the film “Up in Smoke.” In one study, only 30 percent of drivers who had smoked marijuana failed a sobriety test. Credit: Everett Collection

“A 2007 study found that 12 percent of the drivers randomly stopped on American highways on Friday and Saturday nights had been drinking. (In return for taking part in the study, intoxicated drivers were told they would not be arrested, just taken home.)

Six percent of the drivers tested positive for marijuana — a number that is likely to go up with increased availability. Some experts and officials are concerned that the campaign against drunken driving has not gotten through to marijuana smokers.

The article continues:

“Still, it is clear that marijuana use causes deficits that affect driving ability, Dr. Huestis said. She noted that several researchers, working independently of one another, have come up with the same estimate: a twofold increase in the risk of an accident if there is any measurable amount of THC in the bloodstream.

“There is a lot of debate about how best to prove that drivers under the influence of THC are too intoxicated to drive. Blood-alcohol content can be reliably tested on the side of the road with a Breathalyzer, and ample data link rising levels of blood alcohol to decreases in driving skills. The same is not true for marijuana.

“THC levels must be measured from blood or urine samples, which are typically taken hours after an arrest. Urine tests, which look for a metabolite of THC rather than the drug itself, return a positive result days or weeks after someone has actually smoked. Yet most states have laws that equate any detectable level of THC metabolite in urine with detectable levels of actual THC in blood, and criminalize both. Only six states have set legal limits for THC concentration in the blood. In Colorado and Washington, where recreational use has been legalized, that limit is five nanograms per milliliter of blood, or five parts per billion.

Illinois will need to prepare for this challenge. Present law on the subject states that field sobriety tests ARE proof of impairment from alcohol; a declaration made by uninformed legislators who were misled by the lobbyist who drafted the bill. No doubt, legal challenges will arise from this law, but we are likley stuck with it because the lobbying industry was more concerned about their own money fortunes than the rights of the motoring public.

Illinois Camera Tickets Illegal Says States Attorney

May 27th, 2014 at 12:39 pm

Illinois Camera Tickets Do Not Comply With the Law

Illinois Camera Tickets Do Not Comply With the Law

Illinois Camera tickets are illegal and should not be paid, warns an Illinois prosecutor from East St. Louis. He claims that the ticket system used by the private company that sends out the ‘tickets’ fails to comply with the pleading requirements of the Illinois Supreme Court,  St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly said.

According to a report at BND.com:

The cameras snap a photo of the vehicle’s license plate as it speeds through work zones, and then a ticket is sent by mail to the person to whom the car is registered.

Kelly said his problem is not with the cameras themselves, or the police department, but with the collection process being used by the company that collects the fines. “There is no basis for them to pay the ticket because they are not in compliance with Illinois Supreme Court rules,” Kelly said.

It’s something East St. Louis Mayor Alvin Parks disagrees with.

“The city contends that the citations are valid and that the process is proper,” he said.

“The city’s attorney and police chief have been meeting with county officials, including Mr. Kelly, and the county has agreed that the city has the authority to issue the citations. What is at issue is the administrative process of handling the violations once they are issued.”

Kelly said the citations are invalid because they do not conform to uniform citations as is required by the Illinois Supreme Court.

“The citations are not in the correct format, size, or content,” Kelly said. And, the tickets that are being issued say the offense is not a moving violation.

“How can speeding be a non-moving violation?” Kelly said.

Kelley said Illinois statutes allow drivers to have due process of law and have the right to go to court when issued a ticket and that is not being done here.

The cameras were installed in March, and motorists in recent weeks began receiving tickets. Dozens of motorists have angrily complained about the tickets and the fines, some of which are more than $200.

Kelly said his office has been bombarded with calls and emails about the tickets.

About two weeks ago, Kelly asked the city to stop issuing tickets until every aspect of the process is in compliance with the law. So for now, laser camera speeding tickets are not being issued.

“They (motorists) have every right to due process. The ticket company does not have the authority to do what it is doing,” he said.

Kelly said he is working with city to bring every aspect of the process into compliance.

He also said police are doing an excellent job and they should be concerned about speeders on their roads.

Mike Wagner, East St. Louis city attorney, said: “We have been in discussions with the county and the State’s Attorneys office to resolve the issues the State’s Attorney has raised. While the city does not necessarily agree with the county’s position, we are trying to work through this so everything is agreeable to all parties.”

Police Chief Michael Floore said the laser cameras are not a money grab for the city, but a stepped-up effort by the department to increase citizen safety and the safety of police officers who are outside of their vehicles writing tickets.

Signs are posted in work zones along I-64 warning of the presence of laser cameras, however officers have also used hand-held cameras elsewhere in the city.

Contact reporter Carolyn P. Smith at 618-239-2503.

Contact reporter Carolyn P. Smith at 618-239-2503.

Read more here: http://www.bnd.com/2014/05/23/3221908/kelly-east-st-louis-laser-speed.html?sp=/99/166/179/180/#storylink=cpy

Arlington Heights DUI Arrest Likely Due to Rewards Program for Cops

May 23rd, 2014 at 3:07 pm

Since the police will get paid a bonus if they meet their quota for DUI arrests, you can expect more to happen than would be normal.

Since the police will get paid a bonus if they meet their quota for DUI arrests, you can expect more to happen than would be normal.

Arlington Heights DUI Arrest likely due to Rewards Program for cops. There will be at least one roadblock in Arlington Heights between May 9 and Memorial Day 2014 says the police. Keep in mind, that in order to collect federal funds, the police must arrest at least 1 person for DUI for every officer that works this detail. You have a right to refuse all field sobriety tests and preliminary (or portable) breath testing devices. And if arrested, you have the right to demand that they obtain a search warrant before submitting to any further blood breath or urine testing. Just like our forefathers had to do 240 years ago when their government became oppressive, you too must stand up for your basic rights.

The Arlington Heights Police Department will have specialized traffic enforcement activities during May leading up to Memorial Day as part of “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” and “Click It or Ticket.”

Enforcement activities will include numerous seat belt enforcement zones, impaired driving saturation patrols, and two Roadside Safety Checkpoints. The checkpoints will take place on Friday, May 9, and May 16 on Arlington Heights Road south of Algonquin Road. The enforcement campaign will run from May 9 through May 26.

The campaigns are funded with federal traffic safety funds, which are administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation — Division of Traffic Safety.
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