Will the new Illinois marijuana laws affect DUI laws?

Last Sunday, the Chicago Sun-Times ran an article, in which I was quoted, entitled “You still can’t smoke pot and drive” by Sam Charles.

The gist of the article is that the de-criminalization of marijuana in Illinois will not affect its DUI laws – it will still be illegal to drive while impaired or have either 5 nanograms of THC in your blood or 10 nanograms of it in your urine or saliva. 625 ILCS 5/11-501.2.

It is unclear whether the 5 nanogram blood/10 nanogram urine/saliva standard has any equivalence to the 0.08 blood alcohol “legal limit” that we use for alcohol.  Heavy users of marijuana should expect to have high levels of THC in their system much longer than occasional users.

It is also unclear to me how police departments will handle the de-criminalization.  Will an odor of cannabis still result in body and vehicle searches?  It remains to be seen.

Below, a graphic from the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office about marijuana legalization:

marijuana legalization

 

Deltha O’Neal, former NFL All-Pro, charged with felony DUI after crash

From ProFootballTalk.com:

Former NFL All-Pro cornerback Deltha O’Neal was charged with felony DUI after an August accident in Florida left himself and a passenger with multiple injuries.

According to Terry Spencer of the Associated Press, O’Neal was measured with a blood-alcohol level of 0.16 after an accident on August 7 that saw his Mercedes-Benz strike a curb at high-speed and launch into a utility pole that split the vehicle in two.

O’Neal sustained a concussion, broken ankle and internal injuries in the crash. His passenger, Joseph Babcock, sustained a broken thighbone and internal injuries. Babcock is also suing O’Neal after pleading with O’Neal to slow the car down after reaching speeds of 100 miles per hour.

O’Neal was a first-round pick of the Denver Broncos in 2000 and played nine seasons in the NFL. He made the Pro Bowl twice – once in 2001 with the Broncos and again in 2005 with the Cincinnati Bengals. His 2005 season also saw him named a first-team All-Pro after setting a franchise record with 10 interceptions in a single season. O’Neal would also spend a single season with the New England Patriots in 2008.

O’Neal had an arrest for DUI during his time with the Bengals as well in 2006 following a traffic stop.

Broncos’ Safety suspended for two games after DUI

From the Denver Post:

Broncos safety Kareem Jackson was suspended Tuesday for the final two games of the season for violating the NFL’s Policy and Program on Substances of Abuse.

The suspension stems from Jackson’s arrest on Sept. 19 for driving under the influence in Denver.

“I would like to apologize to the Broncos organization, my teammates and fans,” Jackson said in a Twitter post. “I understand the severity in my lapse of judgement and I will certainly not make this mistake again. I know I am fortunate to play in the NFL and am held to a high standard of professionalism and conduct.”

Jackson will forfeit $352,941 in salary and his suspension was announced a week after he was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week.

Jackson was pulled over at 11:48 p.m. on Sept. 19 (a Thursday) in the 1000 block of the Auraria Parkway in Denver. He was cited for speeding (25-39 miles per hour over the limit) and driving under the influence.

On Monday, Jackson pleaded guilty to one count of driving while ability impaired (DWAI). He was sentenced to 12 months supervised probation, ordered to perform 24 hours of public service and participate with MADD’s Victim Impact Panel.

In Colorado, DWAI is defined as the driver’s blood alcohol level of more than .05% but less than .08%. If the BAL is more than .08%, the driver will be charged with driving under the influence.

Empire actress Amanda Detmer arrested for DUI

From CBS Sacramento:

CHICO (CBS13) – An actress most recently known for her work on the TV show “Empire” has been arrested in Chico on suspicion of DUI.

Chico police say, on Sunday a little after 5 p.m., officers responded to a crash at the intersection of East 8th and Flume streets. Officers found that a car had hit a utility pole, then took off.

Officers caught up to the driver a little down the road, finding that the car had heavy front-end damage.

The car was pulled over and the driver, 48-year-old Amanda Jeannette Detmer, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.

E.T. actor Henry Thomas tried to use toilet water to trick DUI urine test

From the Edmonton Journal:

Actor Henry Thomas reportedly tried to bluff police officers with a fake urine sample after he was arrested for DUI in Oregon.

The star, famous for his role in 1982 movie E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, allegedly tried to use toilet water instead of a urine sample in the hopes of passing his blood-alcohol test.

According to a report from the Tualatin Police Department obtained by TMZ, he refused to complete his breathalyzer and field sobriety tests when pulled over in October, so he was taken into custody.

After being placed in a holding cell, the 48-year-old was asked for a urine sample, and requested to use the toilet to fulfil the request.

However, police say he then attempted to swap the water for urine when the officer turned his back.

The report described the sample as “not warm, clear and filled to the brim,” although Thomas apparently denied tampering with the sample.

Thomas initially pleaded not guilty to the count, but after reaching a no-jail agreement with prosecutors, he pleaded no contest to DUI and reckless driving.

In return, he will spend a year in a diversion programme, attend a one-off victim impact panel, and have an ignition interlock device installed in his car, requiring him to take a breath test before being allowed to start the engine.