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(WAND) – While it’s now legal to use recreational marijuana in Illinois, it’s still against the law to drive while under the influence of the drug. While state and local law enforcement are working to keep stoned drivers off the road, some are questioning the reliability of cannabis impairment testing.
The Illinois State Police says, while cannabis use may have increased statewide in 2020, its focus remains the same – recognizing and removing impaired drivers from the road, regardless of the specific cause of impairment.
“Impairment is impairment, so it really doesn’t matter if the impairment is from alcohol, cannabis, prescription medication, heroin,” says Mike Pappas, Impaired Driving Coordinator, Illinois State Police. “If a person has impairment, they have impairment.”
The Decatur Police Department says essentially the same thing. Despite the recent hiring of a DUI Enforcement Officer, Chief Jim Getz insists that officer is policing all impaired driving in the city, not just drivers who use cannabis.
“That’s just unrealistic,” Getz says. “Somebody patrolling the streets, just looking for somebody driving under the influence of cannabis would be impossible… When an officer’s out looking and patrolling the streets, and watching for those drivers that may be under the influence, they don’t know at the time whether they’re under the influence of alcohol, cannabis, cocaine, whatever it may be. Or maybe they’re not under the influence of anything, maybe they were distracted by their phone.”
Here’s how a cannabis DUI arrest happens in Illinois:
- If a law enforcement officer suspects a driver is impaired, they can pull the driver over and administer a series of field sobriety tests.
- If the driver doesn’t appear impaired to the officer, the officer will release them.
- If the officer suspects the driver is impaired, they will arrest the driver.
- If the officer suspects cannabis impairment – based on indicators like smell or demeanor – they’ll ask the driver to submit to blood and urine tests.
- The driver can refuse to submit to the tests, but they’ll lose their license for a year.
- If the driver’s blood test shows 5 nanograms or more of THC per mL of whole blood, or 10 nanograms or more of THC per mL of another bodily substance, they will lose their driver’s license for 6 months.
Pappas says the amount of cannabis it would take to reach those levels depends on how it’s consumed, and it differs from person to person.
“There is no correlation between how much cannabis can be smoked and the impairment levels of the person,” Pappas says.
Instead of trying to determine the THC levels in one’s bloodstream, Pappas offers much simpler advice to avoid getting a cannabis DUI.
“Don’t drive after smoking cannabis,” he says.
While the Illinois State Police doesn’t track numbers on cannabis-related DUI arrests, Bloomington-based attorney Brendan Bukalski says he’s seen an increase in those types of cases this year, many involving drivers who he thinks were not truly impaired.
“It’s not uncommon for individuals to be arrested for cannabis DUIs and believe that they were not impaired,” Bukalski says. “In my experience, with the current DUI laws, most of the time, individuals are not impaired.”
Bukalski says he believes this is because using THC to measure impairment is problematic.
“Cannabis, when you consume it, you stop feeling that high within a couple of hours, but T-H-C can remain in your bloodstream for a long time,” he says.
“Very rarely do you see individuals arrested for DUI and they’re actively smoking a joint, or have smoked a joint within the last couple of hours.”
While the state of Illinois has assembled a DUI cannabis task force designed to improve DUI cannabis enforcement, that task force has not yet convened because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
More information on Cannabis DUIs can be found in the Illinois 2020 DUI Fact book here. https://www.wandtv.com/news/how-state-and-local-police-measure-enforce-cannabis-impaired-driving/article_40772474-96f5-11ea-98c5-bba33fe01b8f.html
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The Korean Baseball Organization has suspended ex-Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang for a year and ordered him to perform 300 hours of community service over a series drunk driving cases.
League organizers issued a statement saying the suspension will come into effect when Kang signs a contract with a club. The KBO said Kang earlier this month submitted an inquiry about a return to the South Korean baseball league and a letter of apology.
The 33-year-old Kang didn’t attend Monday’s disciplinary committee meeting.
Kang signed with Pittsburgh in January 2015, becoming the first position player to jump directly from the KBO to the majors.
He made a splash as a rookie, finishing third in Rookie of the Year voting after hitting 15 home runs. His season ended abruptly that September when he broke his leg after getting taken out at second base by Chris Coghlan of the Chicago Cubs.
Kang returned in 2016 and hit 21 home runs before his career went into a tailspin after getting arrested in Seoul in December 2016 on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol. Kang had two previous DUI cases in 2009 and 2011, according to the KBO.
Kang received a two-year suspended sentence, spent the entire 2017 season on the restricted list after being unable to secure a visa back to the U.S. and played in just three games at the end of the 2018 season. The Pirates initially cut him before bringing him back on a one-year deal worth $3 million for the 2019 season, when he hit .169 with 10 home runs and had RBIs in 65 games.
The KBO said that the latest disciplinary sanction was imposed because Kang undermined the KBO’s image, disappointed fans and caused public concern.
Yonhap news agency said Kang issued an apology through his agent, asking for one more opportunity to play baseball and saying he’d taken the game for granted.
”I was a fool not to see how precious it was,” Kang said in the statement. https://sports.yahoo.com/ex-pirates-infielder-kang-banned-1-korean-league-001142151–mlb.html
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Daniel Silva, a tattoo artist and “Ink Master” alum, was arrested for murder on Monday following a drunk driving accident that left him in the hospital and reportedly caused the death of YouTube personality Corey La Barrie.
According to the Los Angeles Police Department, the accident took place around 9:40 p.m. on Sunday, May 10. Silva was allegedly driving a 2020 McLaren 600LT at a high speed in the Valley Village area of Los Angeles when he lost control of the car and “collided with a stop sign and a tree on the northeast corner,” killing the person sitting in the passenger seat.
Police said the driver “exited the vehicle and attempted to leave the scene but was stopped by citizens who came to render aid.”
TMZ, which first reported news of the accident on Monday, listed the 25-year-old La Barrie as the person in the car with Silva, but LAPD is currently withholding the passenger’s identity pending notification of next of kin.
La Barrie’s brother Jarrad confirmed that his brother died in a car accident that same night in an Instagram post. “This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do,” he wrote. “I don’t how I’m suppose to do this without you I miss you so much already this isn’t fair thank you for always being the best big brother I could ask for I love you so f–ing much life’s never gonna be the same without you R.I.P.”
According to his mother, La Barrie was celebrating his 25th birthday on the night of the accident. https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/ink-master-star-daniel-silva-031221169.html
Wareham Police officers arrested a 22-year-old Wareham man on Memorial Day for operating under the influence, after he allegedly struck a curb and guardrail with his vehicle, and even forced an ambulance to swerve out of the way to avoid a head on crash.
Police and other emergency services responded to a single car crash around 7:30 p.m.
Once there, police saw a man who was yelling, flailing his arms, and clenching his fists. According to police, the man seemed to be directing his hostility at bystanders at the scene.
The man was detained, and the officers determined that he had crossed the centerline and hit a curb, crossed the road again and hit a guardrail, and then tried to drive home before he finally stopped.
Multiple people told police that they saw the vehicle swerving between lanes prior to the accident. One of the vehicles which had to swerve defensively to avoid a head on collision was a Wareham ambulance that was taking a patient to the hospital at the time. Another witness was “visibly shaken by the intensity of the accident,” according to police.
After a brief investigation, officers arrested Alexx Joseph Rezendes of Wareham. Rezendes has been charged with operating under the influence of liquor, possessing an open container of alcohol in a vehicle, marked lanes violation, operating to endanger, speeding, failure to inspect vehicle, disorderly conduct, and disturbing the peace.
Rezendes was not injured in the accident. https://wareham.theweektoday.com/article/wareham-man-arrested-oui-after-swerving-lanes-crashing/48092
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Timothy L. Roth, 36, of Piqua, was charged with having physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs as a result of an incident early Wednesday morning.
Deputies of the Logan County Sheriff’s Office on patrol in the area of north County Road 32 and west State Route 47 observed a vehicle with its headlights and reverse back-up lights on in a driveway at 1784 W. S.R. 47. Deputies also had observed the same vehicle at that location approximately two hours prior.
The driver, Roth, told deputies that he was lost and did not live at that location. Deputies observed that he appeared to be disoriented and was unsteady on his feet when he stepped out of the vehicle. He told deputies he had not used any alcohol or drugs.
The defendant submitted to field sobriety tests and was placed under arrest. He was transported to the Logan County Jail, where he submitted to a chemical test, with test results pending.
Deputies recovered a hypodermic syringe from the vehicle, which was towed from the scene. Roth also was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia and two counts of driving under suspension and was released to a sober driver.
Gas drive-off reported
Deputies responded Thursday evening to the West Mansfield Marathon gas station, 115 S. Main St., in reference to a theft of gasoline.
An employee said a man between 25 and 30 years old had attempted to pay $19.96 worth of gasoline with a credit card inside the store, but his card was declined. The employee said she told him he would need to pay cash for the gasoline, but he reportedly became angry and drove off in his vehicle. Deputies reviewed store video surveillance from the incident.
Driver cited after striking parked vehicle
Caroline R. McCullough, 59, of Piqua, was cited for failure to control after her cargo van struck a parked car along Hickory Lane near Lakeshore Drive Wednesday.
Deputies report she was operating the northbound van about 10:55 a.m. when it sideswiped a car owned by Daniel L. Miller of McDermott parked along 9012 Hickory Lane. Damage was moderate to the car and light to the van. McCullough was wearing her seat belt. https://www.examiner.org/ovi-physical-control-charge-filed/