Chicago considering providing officers with Textalyzers

From WGN news:

A new piece of technology called a “textalyzer” debated at Chicago City Hall Thursday would make it possible for officers to scan drivers’ phones after pulling them over. State legislatures in New York and Tennessee are also considering the technology, but so far Chicago is believed to be the first city to discuss it.

The City Council’s Public Safety Committee discussed the growing issue of distracted driving Thursday. According to experts, distracted driving is blamed for the biggest spike in traffic deaths in 50 years. In some studies, as many as 50 percent of teenagers admit to texting or emailing while driving.

Read the entire story here:  http://wgntv.com/2018/01/11/chicago-debates-giving-cops-textalyzers-to-test-drivers-smartphones/

Carol Stream Police to begin using new Drugged Driving Detection test

The Carol Stream Police Department is about to begin trying out a new drugged driver detection device, called the PIA2, which is made by Protzek (I’ve never heard of them before, but you have to wonder about their accuracy when their materials misspell the word “saliva”).

From the Chicago Tribune:

…the device that Carol Stream police plan to test, called P.I.A.2 , gives measurements for the amount of drugs present.

That’s important, because while Illinois used to define impairment as having any amount of cannabis or other controlled substance in the body, last year lawmakers raised that minimum threshold to 5 nanograms per milliliter in the blood, and 10 ng/mL in other bodily fluids.

But the Illinois State Police crime laboratory is not certified to give such precise measurements, and local police agencies say it can take months to process a request. Therefore, police sometimes send samples to private labs, which can be quicker but also costlier.

That’s where the new field test comes in. For drivers who submit to a blood draw, Carol Stream police plan to ask them also to volunteer for the mouth swab, not for use in court, but simply to compare its accuracy to the lab test. The department plans to conduct at least 100 comparisons over the next year, beginning around March.

Testing devices can cost $3,000 to $6,000, but the manufacturer of the unit in question, a German company called Protzek, will provide it for free to the village. Officials claim its accuracy is comparable to state-of-the-art laboratory techniques.

Len Jonker, president of Judicial Testing Systems, the distributor for Protzek here, said he is in talks about supplying the device to other law enforcement agencies in Illinois as well.

The tests have been challenged in some state courts but have been upheld as a preliminary step to establish probable cause to make an arrest, according to the National District Attorneys Association.

Still, the tests cannot yet be used as conclusive evidence in court, and still require a blood draw for confirmation, the prosecutors reported.

Dan Linn, executive director of the marijuana advocacy group Illinois NORML, said he welcomes the test for accuracy.

“We advocate for legalizing cannabis, but that does not mean we advocate people driving impaired by cannabis,” he said. “The bigger question is, who is driving impaired, and who just has cannabis in their systems.”

Illinois law has zero tolerance for driving on controlled substances other than marijuana, meaning any amount is enough to convict someone of DUI.

Yet unlike alcohol, which has been shown to cause impairment at a blood alcohol level of 0.08, no numeric levels have been established to show impairment from various drugs, because their effects vary so widely from person to person, depending in part on the user’s tolerance.

That’s why Linn believes it’s better to have trained police officers try to assess from direct observations whether a driver is impaired.

Police and prosecutors agree, and for that reason call for more training of officers as drug recognition experts, or DREs. While the standard field sobriety test — where drivers are asked to walk in a straight line and turn around, stand on one leg and close their eyes and touch their nose — was designed primarily to detect the influence of alcohol, the DRE test uses more subtle signs to try to detect drugs.

Dilated or constricted pupils, incomplete or repetitive speech, tremors in the eyelids or hands, odors, high pulse or body temperature, nervousness or lack of inhibition may all be considered signs of impairment from various drugs.

Processing a DUI arrest is time-consuming, and the new law that set the cannabis intoxication standard on driving under the influence states that police must take a blood sample within two hours. Police say that’s often impractical or impossible, especially in rural areas far from a hospital.

That’s why interest is so high in finding a quick technological fix.

Read the entire story here:  http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/ct-met-police-drug-driving-test-20171205-story.html

 

Hinsdale Police to Step Up DUI Enforcement for Halloween

From the Hinsdale Patch (story by Andrea Earnest):

This Halloween, the Hinsdale Police Department is cracking down on impaired drivers with an aggressive Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement effort.

“On Halloween, we urge you to beware of impaired driving,” Deputy Chief Erik Bernholdt, said in a release. “Driving impaired by alcohol or drugs is deadly, it is illegal and it will get you pulled over and arrested this Halloween.”

According to the department, the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement campaign urges everyone to follow these simple tips to help keep roads safe during Halloween:

  • Plan a safe way to get home before you attend a party.
  • Designate a sober driver, take public transportation, use your favorite ride-sharing service, or call a sober friend or family member to get home.
  • Walking while impaired can be just as dangerous as driving impaired. Designate a sober
    friend to walk you home.
  • If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact local law enforcement as soon as it is safe to do so.
  • If you see an impaired person about to drive, take their keys and help them get home safely.

The Halloween enforcement effort is made possible by federal traffic safety funds administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Lake County Sheriff pleads guilty to making false statement in a DUI hearing

From the Chicago Tribune (Jim Newton reporting):

A former Lake County sheriff’s deputy pleaded guilty to criminal contempt of court charges Wednesday for lying under oath during a misdemeanor DUI hearing last year in Lake County Circuit Court.

As a result of the plea, the state dropped felony perjury charges against 28-year-old Justin Hill, of Kenosha, and he was sentenced to a 90-day jail term that was stayed as long as he completes other conditions of his sentence.

Hill also was sentenced to a period of conditional discharge during which he must perform 100 hours of community service, pay a $500 fine and donate $500 to Lake County CrimeStoppers.

The sentence was handed down by Kane County Judge David Kliment after Lake County judges recused themselves from the case because the charges stemmed from proceedings in Lake County Circuit Court.

According to prosecutors, Hill was charged for lying under oath while he was being cross-examined by the defendant in the misdemeanor DUI case, in which the defendant was acting as his own attorney.

Defense attorney Thomas Briscoe said after the plea deal that Hill admitted he lied about whether he had contacted or attempted to contact the defendant in the case prior to the DUI hearing.

Briscoe said that Hill maintains he lied to protect an informant or informants related to another case he was doing on his own without the knowledge of the Lake County sheriff’s office.

Sheriff’s office spokesman Sgt. Christopher Covelli said Wednesday that Hill’s position as a deputy was terminated June 2

…Sheriff’s office officials said inconsistencies were allegedly discovered in Hill’s testimony during a Nov. 2 civil court DUI hearing on the potential statutory summary suspension of a DUI defendant’s driving license….

Read the entire story here:  http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/lake-county-news-sun/crime/ct-lns-lake-deputy-perjury-plea-st-0914-20170913-story.html

Utah nurse arrested for refusing to draw blood for police

Doctors and nurses are supposed to be health care providers, not arms of the police state.  Yet, these days, many police officers think differently.

From NBC news:

A Utah nurse who refused to give a patient’s blood to police — and then was handcuffed and carried into a patrol car in an escalating incident — held an emotional news conference Thursday demanding better training by law enforcement.

“I just feel betrayed, I feel angry, I feel a lot of things,” said Alex Wubbels, a nurse at the University of Utah Hospital and a former Olympic athlete, as she wiped away tears.

“And I am still confused. I’m a health care worker,” she added. “The only job I have is to keep my patients safe.”

The July 26 encounter at the Salt Lake City hospital — in which Wubbels pleaded, “Stop! I’ve done nothing wrong!” — has prompted an internal police investigation.

Police bodycam videos released during Wubbels’ news conference showed the officer — later identified as Det. Jeff Payne — growing increasingly impatient as she tried to explain, according to hospital protocol, why she couldn’t draw an unconscious patient’s blood for a police investigation.

She told the officers gathered in the middle of the hospital’s work area that they need either an electronic warrant, patient consent or to be placing the patient under arrest if they want access to his blood.

The patient had been a driver in an earlier truck crash, and was badly burned and comatose at the hospital, reported NBC affiliate KSL-TV. Vials of his blood were needed as part of the investigation to determine whether the patient had illicit substances in his system at the time of the crash, according to a written report obtained by The Salt Lake Tribune.

n the videos, which may have been edited, Wubbels holds her ground about drawing blood. Payne then suddenly snapped.

“No, we’re done,” he said. “You’re under arrest, we’re going!”

He is seen pulling her arms behind her and places handcuffs around her wrists before yanking her to the back of the patrol car. He said she obstructed justice.

“Please sir, you’re hurting me,” Wubbels said.

“Then walk,” Payne responded.

Wubbels, from inside the car, screamed for help and that “I did nothing wrong!”

Other officers from the University of Utah and the Department of Public Safety, which provide security for the hospital, did not intervene during the arrest, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

Wubbels was later released and no criminal charges were filed against her.

Payne, who remains on active duty with Salt Lake City police but has been suspended from the blood draw program, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A Salt Lake City police spokeswoman said the department has been working closely with the hospital to ensure such actions never happen again and that it is alarmed by what occurred.

Read the whole story here:  https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/utah-nurse-arrested-refusing-give-patient-s-blood-police-n798021

Chicago Police will be conducting DUI enforcement on the North Side Saturday night

According to a Press Report from the Chicago Police:

The Chicago Police Department will be conducting a DUI Saturation Patrol in the Lincoln (020th) District this weekend. The DUI Saturation Patrol will commence at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 12th, 2017 and end at 3:00 a.m. on Sunday, August 13th, 2017.  The purpose of this program is to saturate a pre-designated area with roving police officers that continually monitor vehicular traffic for signs of impaired driving. Patrols also place emphasis on speed, alcohol-related and safety belt
violations. Police vehicles equipped for speed detection are deployed to apprehend speeding violators.

 

From DNAInfo:

Police officers will be on the lookout for drunken drivers and speeders Saturday night during a DUI Strike Force Patrol planned for North Side neighborhoods including Lincoln Square, Uptown and Andersonville.

Officers will also be looking for people not wearing seatbelts and other violations.

The strike force patrol will run from 7 p.m. Saturday-3 a.m. Sunday, throughout the Lincoln Police District.

Headquartered at 5400 N. Lincoln Ave., the district is bounded by Lake Michigan, the Chicago River, Lawrence and Peterson avenues.

Communities served by the district include Lincoln Square, Uptown, Edgewater, Andersonville, Bowmanville and Budlong Woods.

Elmhurst Police to conduct Roadside Safety Checks Saturday night

From the Patch:

On Saturday, Aug. 12, a roadside safety checkpoint will take place on a major roadway in Elmhurst, according to the release. The safety checkpoint will begin at 11:30 p.m. on Saturday night and continue until 3:30 a.m. on Sunday morning. During the safety checkpoint, vehicles will be stopped at a predetermined interval and checked for violations.

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