Making it easy: Woman arrested for smoking pot outside police station

…while illegally parked in an officer’s car!

From the Chicago Tribune:

In what Riverside police are calling “probably the easiest cannabis arrest” they’ve ever made, a Chicago woman has been accused of smoking pot in her car outside the police station in a parking space reserved for squad cars.

According to a news release from the Riverside Police Department, Elizabeth Klebba, 21, on Monday was parked in a spot marked “police unit parking only” outside the station at 31 Riverside Road. She was waiting for a friend who on Saturday had been charged with DUI and who was attempting to retrieve her impounded vehicle.

When an officer approached the 2002 Toyota, Klebba was in the driver’s seat, the passenger window was open and the officer “could smell a very strong odor of cannabis coming from inside the vehicle,” according to the news release.

When Klebba exited her vehicle, she was asked if there was marijuana inside and replied there was, police said. The officer recovered a container with a substance that tested positive for marijuana, and two items used for smoking marijuana, both of which contained the substance, police said.

Klebba, of the 5900 block of South Karlov Avenue in Chicago, was cited under village ordinances for possession of cannabis, possession of drug paraphernalia and also for improper parking.

“To think that an individual would come into the police parking lot, park in a spot that was posted as ‘police unit parking only’ and then openly smoke cannabis is simply absurd,” Riverside police Chief Thomas Weitzel said.

“The smoking of cannabis and cannabis possession has become so commonplace in America today that individuals don’t give it a second thought as to where and when they smoke it — not even if it is in a police station parking lot,” he said.

Actually, Ms. Klebba got off easy.  Under Illinois law, she could have been charged with driving under the influence, because a) she was in “actual physical control” of a motor vehicle by sitting behind the wheel of her car and b) arguably had “any amount” of cannabis in her blood, breath or urine.  625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(6). It is a sign of the times that this “zero tolerance” DUI law has been looked at with disfavor and is not consistently applied anymore.

Another year, another likely NFL draft pick arrested for DUI


When I saw that highly rated QB prospect Dak Prescott was arrested for DUI, I decided to do a search of my blog for the term “NFL draft.”  Sure enough, every year since I began this blog I have written about at least one highly touted prospect getting arrested for DUI shortly before the draft.

Here are some:

Now we can add Dak Prescott, the Senior Bowl MVP, to the list.

From the Clarion Ledger:

Former Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott was arrested early Saturday morning and charged with driving under the influence, Starkville Police Chief Frank Nichols told The Clarion-Ledger.

The arrest occurred near the Cotton District in Starkville at 12:45 a.m. Police pulled over Prescott in a white 2016 Cadillac Escalade. He was released on bond. No further details were immediately available.

Prescott’s representation, Pro Sports Management, refused comment on the situation when asked multiple times Saturday.


Court vacates 7 year sentence for woman who caused accident 2 days after smoking pot

Over four years ago, I posted this blog post entitled “Why is this woman facing 6 to 28  years in prison?”  It was about a young woman named Alia Bernard, who, two days after smoking marijuana, caused a fatal motor vehicle crash.  Under Illinois’ draconian “zero tolerance” laws, she was sentenced to seven years in prison for the crime of driving while there was still trace residue of marijuana in her system (and causing a fatal accident, which otherwise would have been mostly a civil matter).

Common sense (sort of) prevailed when a new judge vacated her sentence and sentenced her to probation instead (the judge that sentenced her to prison has retired).  I say that common sense “sort of” prevailed because I don’t think that there is any common sense to a law that punishes having traces of marijuana in your blood instead of punishing people that are actually under the influence; but under our ridiculous laws, probation was the best sentence she could get.

In Illinois, probation can only be given in a fatal DUI case when there are extraordinary circumstances (even in a case like this, when the person was not “under the influence”).  The new judge stated in re-sentencing Bernard: “The criminal act, which is the cannabis in the system, played no role in this action … the facts of this case are unique and for me, rise to the level of extraordinary circumstances.”

Congratulations to defense attorney Donald Ramsell, who took over the case and raised issues in the State Police crime lab’s blood testing that led to the new sentence.

Man charged with DUI after stopped for driving with tree embedded into hood of car

From the Roselle, Illinois Police Department’s Facebook page:

A few weeks ago, a Roselle police officer saw a car driving southbound on Roselle Road with a 15-foot tree embedded in the front grill of the car. After stopping the driver, he also noticed the airbags had been deployed (apparently from hitting the tree). After an investigation, the Roselle officer arrested the driver for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol.

Yet another reason why you should not drink and drive!