Like many states, Illinois allows the use of marijuana for medical reasons. However, driving while intoxicated by marijuana is still unlawful, and law enforcement officials are looking for a practical way to test drivers for marijuana. While breath tests are used to determine how much alcohol is in a driver's system, marijuana is usually detected with much more invasive measures like blood and urine tests.
Parents in Illinois and around the country can help prevent their teens from drinking by setting clear anti-drinking rules, according to a study. The research was presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association in Seattle on Aug. 22.
Uber, a company with a ride-sharing app that allows people to hire independent drivers, claims that its service prevents drunk driving. Although many Illinois residents have likely used the service after having had too much to drink, the ride-sharing service does not appear to be reducing the numbers of alcohol-related traffic deaths.
Illinois football fans may have heard that Justin Blackmon, a wide receiver who is on the Jacksonville Jaguars' suspended list, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor DUI charge on April 28. He was taken into custody on Dec. 21 in Oklahoma after authorities conducted a traffic stop on his vehicle for a brake light issue.
On April 11, Maryland became the 26th state to require that all DUI offenders, including first-timers, install an ignition interlock device on their vehicles. Illinois already has an all-inclusive ignition interlock law in place, and similar legislation is pending in California, Ohio, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.
Authorities in an Illinois city took a motorist into custody for drunk driving after they pulled a vehicle that had a tree in its grill over on March 4. The police had reportedly been tipped off by another driver who had seen the vehicle driving down the road.
Drivers cannot be charged with a crime for refusing to take a breath test in Illinois. However, there are 13 states where drivers can face criminal penalties if they refuse such a test. Some people argue that charging drivers for refusing to submit to a breath test is a violation of their federal constitutional rights.
Illinois residents may have heard the recent story about a woman who is accused of live streaming while she drove drunk. The 23-year-old woman used the social media app Periscope to film herself while she drove in Lakeland, Florida, on Oct. 10. While the video was being broadcast live, several Periscope users alerted authorities about what they noticed in the woman's live stream.
People in Illinois may be interested to learn about a recent survey study in which researchers looked at the states where the most people admit to driving drunk. According to their results, people in Hawaii are the most likely to drive while under the influence of alcohol, while those in the Midwest also reported rates higher than other states.
A bill before the governor of Illinois would change the state of DUI law for marijuana users, making it legal for individuals to drive with as much as 15 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood in their system. THC is the primary psychoactive chemical in marijuana. The governor has not made public whether he intends to sign the bill into law. Critics have pointed out that the new limit would be the highest in the United States. Colorado and Washington, which have legalized marijuana for recreational use, each use a limit of 5 nanograms.