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Governor to Decide Fate of Bill Establishing Marijuana DUI Limits

DUI Marijuana LawsLegislation recently passed through both chambers of the Illinois legislature which would set the state’s first impairment standard for driving under the influence of marijuana . The bill, which looks to create an easily enforceable guideline for cannabis-related DUI arrests, now awaits the signature of Governor Bruce Rauner, who has not given an indication on his intentions for the measure.

Currently in Illinois, the law provides that an individual can be arrested for DUI or aggravated DUI with any trace of marijuana in his or her system, regardless of impairment. Those who have validly registered for the state’s medical cannabis pilot program were to be offered some level of protection from the zero-tolerance principle , but the program has yet to get fully underway. The current law falls short in increasing safe driving due to the fact that traces of marijuana can be found in a person’s blood for up to several weeks after use . This means that a driver can potentially be arrested for driving under influence even though he is totally unimpaired and the marijuana in his system is from ten days ago.

The proposed law, however, would take much of the guesswork on the part of law enforcement out of the equation. It would set the legal DUI limit for THC, the impairment-producing component of marijuana, in a driver’s blood at 15 nanograms and 25 nanograms in a driver’s saliva. The submitted limits were derived by extrapolating an European blood-alcohol content (BAC) to cannabis impairment calculation to approximate the state’s BAC limit of 0.08 percent.

Critics have suggested that the 15 nanogram limit is excessive, since many states’ laws have set their guidelines between two and seven nanograms. Senator Mike Noland, D-Elgin, pointed out, however, that the proposal in Illinois was approved by lawmakers and the Illinois State’s Attorney’s Association as a compromise between the 5 nanogram limit in Colorado and the 25 nanogram limit set in Washington, both states in which the recreational use of marijuana has been legalized. He also added that, if necessary, lawmakers can revisit the limits if they prove to be too high, and that the measure creates a reasonable starting point.

If you have been charged with DUI, whether related to alcohol or drugs, contact an experienced Joliet criminal defense attorney. At the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba, we understand the seriousness of DUI allegations and are prepared to help you minimize the impact to your life and future. Call today to schedule a free consultation.

Burglary Charges and Illinois Law

Joliet Burglary ChargesSeveral weeks ago, a Joliet man was found hiding the in rafters of a Mokena housing complex currently under construction and now faces charges of burglary. Police believe that the man, along with an accomplice who was found outside the complex, may have been looking to steal copper or tools, but that no stolen property was found in the possession of either individual. Both men have been charged with burglary in connection to the case.

What is Burglary?

Although related to other property crimes, burglary is not, of itself, the taking of property belonging to another. Instead, it more directly concerns a person’s unlawful gaining of access to another’s property or his or her presence in or on such property.

Under Illinois law , burglary is committed by a person who, without proper authority, enters or remains within a building, trailer, boat, aircraft, or vehicle with the intent of committing theft or another felony. The law also provides for the specific charge of residential burglary when the action is committed within a building or trailer which serves as a dwelling place.

Although it is sometimes known colloquially as “breaking and entering,” burglary is not necessarily dependent on forceful entry. In addition to entering an unlocked car or building, burglary may also be committed by deception, especially residential burglary. A person who purports to be a utility worker or government representative, for example, to gain access to a home with the intent to steal is also guilty of residential burglary.

No Theft Necessary

The Mokena example demonstrates that the intended theft or other felony does not need to be committed in order to justify burglary charges. The perpetrator’s intent to commit such actions is of primary concern. Without such intent, charges of criminal trespass may be more likely than those of burglary.

In addition to theft, the intent to commit another felony may also result in burglary charges. These may include, but are not limited to, the intent to commit arson, destruction of property, assault, battery, and more serious crimes, such as sexual assault or murder.

Serious Charges>/b>

As with many criminal offenses, charges of burglary depend greatly on the specifics of each case. The most basic offense is generally charged as a Class 2 felony but may be considered a Class 1 felony if the action took place in a residence, school, church, or day care center. These charges can result in serious criminal penalties in addition those which may result from other crimes associated with the burglary.

If you have been accused of burglary, it is imperative you seek the help of an attorney who is willing to fight for you. Contact an experienced Will County criminal defense attorney today for a free consultation. We will review your case, help you understand your options, and work with you toward protecting your future.

Drinking and Boating Can Cost You Your License

Boating DUI JolietFor many, spending an afternoon on the water may be an ideal form of relaxation. There are few things better than cruising around the lake in a boat while enjoying the company of friends or family. It is hardly surprising, however, that a large number of boaters also incorporate alcohol into their recreational activities. When alcohol use leads to drunken boating or boating under the influence, the situation can quickly turn dangerous or even deadly. In addition, a person found to be operating a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs may face charges and penalties similar to those for operating a motor vehicle under the influence .

Deadly Accident Leads to Updated Laws

In 2012, a 10 year old Libertyville boy named Tony Borcia was boating with his family on Petite Lake , part of Illinois’ popular Chain O’Lakes. The young boy was riding on inflatable tube being towed by his father when he fell off the tube. Despite Tony’s bright red lifejacket, a large boat struck the boy, killing him instantly. The driver of the second boat was later found to have been under the influence of alcohol and cocaine at the time of the crash, and was subsequently sentenced to a 10 year prison term.

Following the incident on Petite Lake, several law changes have been made in Illinois regarding boating under influence. New measures went into effect concerning implied consent for chemical testing on the part of any boater involved in an accident causing serious injury or death. Failure to submit to testing, exceeding legal blood-alcohol content limits, or positive tests for drugs will result in a statutory summary suspension of the individual’s driver’s license.

On January 1, 2015, legislation became effective that allows law enforcement to seize watercraft involved in certain offenses related to drunk boating. Violations of operating under the influence and careless or reckless operation of a boat or personal watercraft may lead to the seizure and impoundment of an individual’s boat or watercraft. Additionally, boaters who are towing water-skiers or riders on a tube must display an orange safety flag to notify other boaters of their activities. In doing so, Illinois officials hope to prevent another tragic accident like the one that claimed the life of young Tony Borcia.

Legal Help for Boating Offense

If you have been had your license suspended for boating under the influence or are facing any type of related charges, you need a lawyer who will fight to protect your rights. Contact an experienced Joliet criminal defense attorney experienced Joliet criminal defense attorney to schedule your free initial consultation. We will review your case, explain your options, and help you decide what your next steps should be. Call us at 815-740-4025 today

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