Archive for the ‘Illinois DUI Laws’ Category

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.

DeKalb DUI Driver Hands Cop a Beer Instead of License

May 5th, 2014 at 1:11 pm

Damon Tobias Exum allegedly handed a police officer a beer when asked for his license after striking a police car in Dunwoody, Ga., early Saturday afternoon.DEKALB COUNTY An alleged DUI driver allegedly handed a police officer a beer when asked for his license after striking a police car in Dunwoody, Ga., early Saturday afternoon.

After striking a police car, he handed the officer a beer.

Damon Tobias Exum, 37, was a little confused, and police reported he was “heavily intoxicated” and unaware he had struck a police car early Saturday morning in Dunwoody, Ga., a suburb of Atlanta, police report.

After Exum struck a police car, he continued down a highway, police said. The officer inside was uninjured and followed him until he finally pulled over, according to the police report.

When Officer Alvin Rodriguez asked the motorist for his license he was handed a beer instead, the officer said.

The driver was intoxicated and not making the best decisions.

“The driver was intoxicated and not making the best decisions,” Dunwoody police Officer Tim Fecht told the Daily News.

Exum received eight misdemeanor charges and was transported to county jail on $3,270 bail.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/drunk-driver-hands-officer-beer-license-police-article-1.1778951#ixzz30rjoZ31O

Know the Law: The Proper Chronology of a DUI Arrest

January 30th, 2014 at 12:13 pm

When arresting a person on charges of a DUI offense in Illinois, there is a proper procedure all officers must follow. The 2013 Illinois DUI Fact Book outlines these steps so that drivers will know what to expect.

 DUI arrest IMAGEFirst, an officer must stop your vehicle at a roadside safety check or have adequate probable cause or reasonable suspicion to pull you over. This can include observing unusual operation of the vehicle by the driver. Once safely pulled over, the officer may spend a few moments talking with and observing the driver before requesting the driver’s license, registration, and insurance.

If the officer suspects the driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they may ask the driver to submit to a series of field sobriety tests. Once these are completed, the officers can either release the driver, or if they have probable cause based on the results of the field sobriety tests, they can place the driver under arrest for DUI. Anyone who refuses to complete the field sobriety tests can have their license suspended under the law.

If the driver is placed under arrest, they will be taken to the police station, where a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) test of their breath, blood, or urine will be administered.

If the BAC is found to be between .05 and .08 percent, and no drugs are found in the driver’s system, the DUI charge remains in effect until the court decides otherwise, however the driver’s license does not automatically get suspended. If the BAC is shown as .08 or more, or if there is any evidence of drugs in the driver’s system, the driver will receive immediate notice that their license has been suspended.

If you have been accused of a DUI offense, and believe that the proper procedures were not followed, contact an experienced Illinois DUI defense attorney right away. They can ensure your case is fairly represented in court, and ensure you do not receive any undeserved punishment under the law.

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