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Illinois police praise Speed Awareness Day efforts

It's safe to say that most Illinois motorists hate to receive a speeding ticket. However, local and state law enforcement agencies frequently plan new ticketing campaigns that aim to further crack down on speeding and other traffic violations. On July 24, 2019, the Illinois Speed Awareness Day campaign was launched by the Illinois State Police with the stated goal of increasing awareness about the dangers of excessive speed and the importance of safe driving.

While the campaign included positive approaches to driver education, it also involved the distribution of a large number of speeding tickets and warnings. There were nine presentations in different areas of the state by law enforcement personnel discussing speed limits and the potential risks associated with exceeding them. During the 24-hour period, there were 876 speeding tickets given out by state police as well as 681 written warnings for speed-related issues. These were not the only traffic tickets issued during the focus day; state police also gave out 391 tickets and 848 written warnings for other issues.

Illinois drivers and the effects of speed traps

In Illinois and across the country, speed continues to be a leading cause of accidents. According to the Illinois State Police, it also plays a huge role in motor vehicle injuries. Approximately 40% of those involved in a speed-related accident will sustain some form of injury.

To reduce the number of accidents, police in many areas have been implementing events such as Speed Awareness Day. During these events, police come out in force, issuing more traffic tickets and making more arrests than they would on normal occasions. Officers may especially target certain areas such as interstate highways or streets with few if any stop signs, particularly if they know that drivers have a tendency to speed there.

Felony arrest may result in asset forfeiture

The consequences of a conviction for drug offenses can be quite severe. While many states are decriminalizing the possession of marijuana in small amounts, the penalties for other drug crimes, such as trafficking or distribution, often include extended time behind bars and substantial fines. The severity of the penalties may depend on many things, such as the amount and kind of drug in question and whether state or federal authorities are prosecuting the case.

Perhaps one of the most controversial elements of drug enforcement is the practice of civil asset forfeiture. Asset forfeiture occurs when law enforcement authorities confiscate any possessions they believe you may have used or gained through illegal activities, including the drug trade. If authorities have seized items they claim are related to criminal activity, you have a limited time to take steps to reclaim them. The process is difficult, and you would be wise to seek legal assistance.

Driver taken into custody on his fifth DUI charge

Authorities in Illinois say that a 58-year-old Chicago resident was taken into custody on two charges of aggravated DUI. He was also charged with driving while his license was suspended. Police say that the man was observed driving on Route 53 in Crest Hill on June 27 while under the influence of alcohol.

There was no mention of why police believed that the man was under the influence when he was taken into custody. Authorities said that he had been taken into custody for DUI on four occasions prior to June 27. Two of the previous incidents took place in Will County while the others took place in Lake and Cook counties. The defendant is being held in Will County Jail, and he can secure his release by posting 10% of his $50,000 bail.

Fines for moving violations increasing in Illinois

The fines for certain types of traffic violations in the state of Illinois will be increasing as of July 1. On that date, the fine for not using a seat belt correctly will go up to $164 from $60. Furthermore, texting and driving will become a moving violation after a first offense instead of after a third offense. Those who are caught driving 20 miles or more over the speed limit will increase $44 to $164.

Those who have three or more moving violations on their record could be subject to a license suspension. State police are urging motorists to take their time now that kids are out of school. They are also encouraging drivers to give themselves extra time to get to their vacation destinations. In addition to not driving while distracted, it is critical to avoid operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

DUIs are down in some Illinois communities

DUI totals in the Illinois Valley have gone down in 11 of the past 13 years. Overall, the number of DUIs has dropped by roughly 50% over the past 15 years. In Bureau County, the number of people taken into custody for drunk or impaired driving dropped by one-third in 2019. This could be attributed to many factors such as an inability to afford the cost of a DUI in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. For some, it may be tough to justify the cost of drinking alcohol at a bar.

Therefore, residents of the area are more likely to have a meal and then head home if they do go out. Another reason why alcohol use may be down is because younger people are shying away from it. An attorney in La Salle said that social media is resulting in kids going to fewer parties where teenagers traditionally drink beer or other adult beverages. Furthermore, their focus has shifted to smoking marijuana or trying other controlled substances.

Why am I charged with an aggravated DUI?

When police pull you over on suspicion of drunk driving, they will attempt to establish probable cause for an arrest through observations, field sobriety tests and a portable breath test. If officers place you under arrest, you may end up at the police station or jail taking a breath test or at a hospital having your blood drawn in order to determine whether your blood alcohol concentration meets or exceeds the Illinois legal limit of 0.08.

In the absence of any other factors, you could face a misdemeanor DUI charge. However, a charge of driving under the influence can quickly turn into a felony depending on the circumstances that exist at the time of the arrest.

Domestic violence laws in the state of Illinois

In Illinois, domestic violence is a serious offense. The state has a legal right to prosecute Illinois residents who commit acts of domestic violence. Illinois has both criminal domestic violence regulations and laws pertaining to civil domestic violence. An act of criminal domestic violence focuses on harming a person by inflicting physical injuries. An act of civil domestic violence focuses on abusing a person in a physical, sexual or emotional manner.

According to the Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986, domestic violence includes harming a spouse or ex-spouse, a girlfriend or boyfriend, a parent, a stepparent, a child, a stepchild, some other blood relation, a roommate, a caregiver, a person with a disability or a senior citizen. Battery is an act of physical harm perpetrated upon another individual but may also include making insulting remarks or provoking physical confrontations. A person who is the victim of domestic abuse has the right to apply for a restraining order.

Officers go undercover to promote worker safety

As part of Work Zone Safety Week, police in Illinois went undercover as construction workers. The goal was to increase awareness of the dangers that speeding and distracted driving can pose to people in work zones. They also cited drivers who were speeding or otherwise violating traffic laws. One officer who was monitoring traffic on Interstate 74 said that he cited nine drivers in a matter of minutes for speeding.

Typically, officers monitor construction and other work zones in their police vehicles, but that gives drivers time to change their behavior. When a driver isn't aware that an officer is nearby, he or she may be more likely to slow down or focus on the road. Those who are caught speeding in a work zone could receive a fine of $375 for a first offense and a fine of up to $1,000 for a second offense. A second offense could also come with a drivers license suspension of 90 days.

Attorney, others argue not all breath tests are accurate

People in Illinois who are on a low-carb diet that has put them into ketosis or who suffer from such conditions as acid reflux or diabetes could cause some types of breath tests for blood alcohol content to give inaccurate results. In Texas, an attorney got DUI charges dropped against a man who was in ketosis but who did not appear to be drunk during field sobriety tests. However, when he took a breath test, the device registered his blood alcohol content above the legal limit.

The problem is that ketosis and other conditions may cause people to breathe out isopropyl alcohol. There is some disagreement about whether some types of breath tests can distinguish between isopropyl and ethanol alcohol. One professor contends that home BAC tests, which use semiconductor technology to detect the number of molecules in a person's breath, may be unable to distinguish between the two types of alcohol.

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