Illinois legislature passes stricter speeding statute

The Illinois House has passed a new changed to the Illinois Motor Vehicle Code.  Once signed by Governor Quinn, it will prevent a judge from sentencing anyone to supervision if they have speed more than 30 miles an hour over the posted speed limit on a highway or rural area, or 25 miles an hour in an urban area.

Supervision is a type of sentence which essentially continues the case for a period of time, with certain conditions such as paying a fine and not getting any new offenses.  If the person successfully completes the sentence, then the case is discharged without an entry of a conviction.

Speeding more than 30 miles over the posted speed limit is a Class B misdemeanor, and more than 40 miles over is a Class A misdemeanor (by comparison, so is a retail theft under $300, or a DUI).  (By the way, the typical first sentence for retail theft or DUI involve either a diversion program or supervision).  So under the new law, anyone speeding more than 30 miles over the legal limit will become a convicted criminal, with a worse sentence than a thief or drunk driver.

I would like to point out that a high percentage of these speeders are young men, who will now be at risk for losing financial aid or employment opportunities because Illinois has decided to criminalize and harshly punish an offense that virtually every driver has committed.

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