State Troopers have written 8 times as many Scott’s Law violation so far in 2019 as in all of 2018

Illinois’ “Scott’s Law” requires that when approaching a vehicle displaying flashing lights, a driver move over (if reasonably possible) or slow down.  After several major accidents involving death and/or serious injury to State Troopers, they are fighting back with stepped-up enforcement of the law throughout the entire state.

The numbers are coming in, and they show that:

Eight times as many Scott’s Law violation citations have been written so far in 2019 when compared to last year, according to Illinois State Police.

From January 1, 2019 through November 3, 2019, there were 5,860 tickets written.

During the same period in 2018, 728 citations were handed out.

Read the entire story here:  https://wqad.com/2019/11/04/illinois-state-police-see-major-spike-in-scotts-law-violation-citations/

Illinois State Police will be conducting DUI Patrols on I-294, I-88 and I-355

From the Patch:

CHICAGO, IL — The Illinois State Patrol announced it would be conducting nighttime enforcement patrols on several Chicago area interstates in September. The special patrols will target drunken drivers and unbuckled passengers and drivers on the Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294) in Cook County, the Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88) in DuPage and Kane counties and the Veterans Memorial Tollway (I-355) in DuPage County, according to an Illinois State Police news release.

The NITE program focuses enforcement efforts on drivers who are impaired and occupants of motor vehicles who are not wearing their seatbelts, according to the state patrol news release.

These patrols will be conducted during nighttime hours when impaired driving crashes causing death or serious injury occur at higher rates.

“Illinois State Police Troopers will have a zero-tolerance approach to impaired and unrestrained drivers during these patrols. Drivers who are arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) will be arrested, their vehicle may be impounded and they may face suspension of their driving privileges for up to one year for a first offense. Drivers who are convicted of DUI may face fines of up to $2,500 and possible imprisonment for up to one year for first convictions. Penalties for subsequent convictions of DUI include possible imprisonment for up to 12 years and fines of up to $25,000 if crashes cause occurs in great bodily harm or permanent disfigurement to other persons,” according to the Illinois State Patrol news release.

Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists releases its new Top Cops list

Every year, the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists (“AAIM”) releases a list of the top DUI arresting officers and departments in Illinois.

There is a change at the top of the “Top Cops” list.  Trooper Eric David, who was tops on this last year with 208 arrests, dropped to number four with 151 arrests.  Trooper Lucas Sniady, who was not on last year’s top 10 list, reached the top with 192 arrests.  Last year’s number two, Chicago Police Officer Timothy Walter, went from 167 arrests to 148.

Here are all the officers who made 100 or more DUI arrests in 2018:

1 Trooper Lucas Sniady ISP District Chicago 192
2 Officer Elliot Tupayachi Chicago District #19 168
3 Investigator Andrew Hartman Rockford 166
4 Trooper Eric David ISP District Chicago 151
5 Officer Timothy Walter Chicago District #19 148
6 Officer Mark Januszewski Chicago District #24 109
7 Investigator Erik Freese Rockford 108
8 Trooper James Knaperek ISP District Chicago 107
9 Officer William Hoefler Cook County Sheriff’s Dept. 105
10 Officer Tesfai Tewelde Chicago District #25 104
11 Investigator Robert Trout Rockford 100

 

Outside of Chicago (which had over 1,800 DUI arrests) and the Illinois State Police, which had over 5,000 state-wide, Rockford once again tops the list.  The Top Departments are:

Rank
Municipality
2018
DUI Arrests
% Change from
2017 to 2018
2017
DUI Arrests
1 Rockford 552 12.7% 490
2 Aurora 446 36.8% 326
3 Decatur 391 0.0% 391
4 Elgin 374 -10.5% 418
5 Cicero 315 -7.6% 341
6 Carol Stream 280 -3.8% 291
7 Elmhurst 277 29.4% 214
7 Lombard 277 -11.5% 313
8 Naperville 261 -3.7% 271
9 Bloomington 244 30.5% 187
10 Springfield 233 -19.1% 288

State Troopers riding in Semis in order to catch you texting while driving

From Fox 2 St. Louis:

CHICAGO — You wouldn’t expect to see state police climb into big rigs as they head out on patrol, but the giant trucks are their latest tool in the fight against distracted driving.

The “Trooper in a Truck” program, an initiative between the Illinois State Police and the Illinois Trucking Association, aims to make the roads safer for vehicles of all sizes.

“As we’ve seen in the last 10 years, distracted driving in my opinion has overtaken alcohol,” Master Sgt. Bryan Falat tells WGN.

From their higher vantage point, troopers are able to spot distracted drivers and radio the offending vehicle’s information to waiting patrol cars. They then pull them over and issue a ticket.

More than 20 citations were issued Wednesday alone for cell phone violations, improper lane changes, seat belt faux pas and those following too closely. Troopers say this isn’t about money and tickets, it’s about education and safety. And maybe drivers will follow the rules not knowing who is in that truck driving next to them…

In the year the program has been rolling, troopers have used semi trucks to patrol sections of I-57, I-55, I-70 and I-80, catching drivers doing things they shouldn’t do while behind the wheel. Their goal is more than handing out citations; they hope to change drivers’ daily habits and ingrain the safest way to drive in their brains.

Illinois Police are “incredibly unprepared” to deal with marijuana DUI cases

From the State Journal-Register:

Illinois law-enforcement officials are “incredibly unprepared” for the potential upswing in impaired driving that could result from legalization of recreational use of marijuana.

That view of the impact of House Bill 1438 came from a Chicago-area police officer spearheading a pilot program to develop a roadside chemical test for marijuana.

Sgt. Brian Cluever, director of traffic safety at the Carol Stream Police Department, said technology to accurately check saliva for cannabis-related impairment and support driving-under-the-influence cases in courts is months and potentially years away in Illinois and other states.

And unlike alcohol, there’s no breath test for marijuana.

In addition, Cluever said it’s unclear how much it will cost and how long it will take to train more Illinois police officers on how to interview people and conduct field sobriety tests for marijuana. The field tests for pot are different from alcohol but still can be used to arrest and charge drivers with marijuana-related DUI.

Those various challenges will put police in a “tough spot,” Cluever said last week. “We won’t be ready by Jan. 1, 2020.”

But the saliva testing program that the Carol Stream Police Department began using in early 2018 for marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamines, opiates and other drugs has slowed because problems with the testing equipment prompted the department to change suppliers, Cluever said.

Testing with equipment from a new supplier began only this year, and the equipment isn’t sensitive enough detect the presence of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, down to the legal limit in Illinois — 10 nanograms per milliliter in saliva, he said. The equipment is sensitive only to 40 nanograms, he said.

Illinois’ legal limit for THC in blood for drivers is 5 nanograms/ml.

A trial of saliva-testing equipment in Michigan could detect THC no lower than 25 nanograms/ml. A February report on the Michigan pilot program said results were encouraging but that more study was needed.

A 2017 report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration highlighted the challenges facing law enforcement.

The report said surveys show there was a 48 percent increase in the prevalence of drivers testing positive for THC at any level from 2007 to 2013-14, with 8.6 percent positive in 2017 and 12.6 percent positive in 2013-14.

At the same time, the report said the percentage of drivers testing positive for alcohol at any level declined from 12.4 percent in 2007 to 8.3 percent in 2013-14.

The report pointed out that the driving risks posed by alcohol use have been well known for decades, while “relatively little” is known about the risks posed by marijuana and other drugs.

There’s evidence that marijuana “impairs psychomotor skills, divided attention, lane tracking and cognitive function,” but “its role in contributing to the occurrence of crashes remains less clear,” the report said.

Read the entire article here:  https://jg-tc.com/news/state-and-regional/govt-and-politics/police-unprepared-for-pot-impaired-drivers-in-illinois-law-enforcement/article_00eecec7-319e-55f8-89b5-038655963b02.html

Illinois State Police to Conduct Roadblock in McHenry County this weekend

roadblockcheck

From the Patch:

The Illinois State Police will conduct a roadside safety check over the upcoming weekend in McHenry County. State police officers will be teaming up with the Algonquin Police Department as part of the roadside safety check. Authorities will be on the lookout for drivers who are driving under the influence, speeding, safety belt and child restraint violations and other Illinois vehicle code and criminal violations.

The use of Roadside Safety Checks combine a sense of public awareness and enforcement in order to save lives, according to a Illinois State Police news release.

Illinois State Police to Conduct Roadside Safety Check this weekend in Elgin

From the Elgin Patch:

ELGIN, IL – A roadside safety check will be held this weekend in Elgin, Illinois State Police announced Tuesday. Officers working the detail will be watching out for drivers who are operating vehicles in an unsafe manner, driving with suspended or revoked driver’s license and transporting open alcoholic beverages, according to the news release. In addition, authorities will also be on the lookout for drunken drivers, safety belt violations, speeders and distracted drivers.

The roadside safety check will be held the weekend of March 23, according to a news release from the Illinois State Police. The purpose of the roadside checks is meant to keep roadways safe and drunken drivers off the road.