Illinois - taking a stand
- LEGISLATION 2014 RECENT LEGISLATION AFFECTING CRIME VICTIMS’ RIGHTS: This law requires State’s Attorney’s to notify victims and their family members of their rights to testify at sentencing hearings. (HB0827)
- PUT DOWN THAT PHONE:
In Illinois, the new hands-free law went into effect January 1, 2014. The law prohibits drivers from using their phone when behind the wheel unless they are using a wireless device such as a Bluetooth. (HB 1247)
- CURRENT LAWS OF CELL PHONE USE WHILE DRIVING:
1. Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for bus drivers (Primary law)
2. Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for novice drivers (Primary law)
3. Ban on texting for all drivers (Primary law)
4. Illinois bans the use of cell phones while driving in a school zone or in a highway construction zone
5. Handheld ban for all drivers (Primary law, eff. 1/1/14)
- SPEED LIMIT INCREASE: Most Illinois highways will increase speed limits to 70 miles an hour. That includes short stretches of Interstate 55 and Interstate 80 southwest of Joliet, Interstate 57 south of Park Forest and Interstate 88 west of Aurora. A stretch of Interstate 94 between Waukegan and the Wisconsin border will also increase.
- MEDICINAL PURPOSES ONLY Medical marijuana technically arrived in Illinois on Jan. 1, 2014 though the agencies overseeing the state's four-year pilot program will still have approximately four months, or until May to lay out the application process for those who qualify to get their hands on the drug. (HB 1) As stated in AAIM’s last newsletter Medical Cannabis is of great concern to AAIM as it relates to current DUI law. AAIM is opposed to the provisions in HB1 regarding driving after use of cannabis. AAIM is neutral on the issue of medical cannabis but opposed to these changes to the DUI law.
Note: A primary law means that an officer can ticket the driver for the offense without any other traffic violation taking place. A secondary law means an officer can only issue a ticket if a driver has been pulled over for another violation (like speeding).
Note: Illinois defines novice drivers as all drivers under the age of 19.
The bill creates a double standard between those who drive under the influence of cannabis and have a medical cannabis card and those who do not. Where we feel the legislation fails is that there is no per se level to establish impairment as is the case with DUI alcohol. The court will not accept anything short of a scientifically derived level of cannabis that determines impairment. The subjective opinion of a police officer administering Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST’s) will not be accepted by the courts. Although the bill addresses the issue of driving after consumption of medical cannabis, it does not do enough to stand up to the inevitable court challenges. NATIONAL TRAFFIC SAFETY BOARD (NTSB): Set forth a recommendation to lower the illegal BAC limit of .08 to .05. AAIM’s position on NTSB’s recommendation is if research continues to indicate that lowering the illegal BAC in all states from .08 to .05 would save lives, AAIM supports an illegal limit of .05 BAC.
- Starting January 1, 2009, first time DUI offenders in Illinois faced new legal requirements for driving during a Statutory Summary Suspension. This is a significant change in the implied consent laws of Illinois. Prior to January 1, 2009, persons suspected of DUI in Illinois received driver license suspensions of either three or six months for either failing or refusing chemical testing. The new law doubles the length of these suspensions to six and twelve months respectively.