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.

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