The Chicago Police Department’s “DUI Strike Force” will be patrolling Wrigleyville and Boystown from 7 P.M. on August 19 through 3 A.M. on August 20. According to the news release put out by the Chicago Police Department, the purpose of the “DUI Strike Force” is to “saturate a pre-designated area with roving police officers that continually monitor vehicular traffic for signs of impaired driving.” The force will also focus on speeding and seatbelt violations. There will be a mobile unit on-hand to conduct Breath Alcohol Tests to speed up the arrests.

If you are charged with DUI in Chicago, your case will likely be heard at the Daley Center Courthouse. Illinois DUI law is extremely complex and it is best you consult an experienced DUI attorney for help with your case. Feel free to contact our firm if you require legal assistance for DUI, or any other criminal offense.

Police Will Be Patrolling Wrigleyville For DUIS This Weekend, August 18, 2016, www.chicagoist.com

Governor Rauner has signed into law a change to the Illinois DUI law involving driving while under the influence of cannabis (marijuana).

Until this change, it was illegal to drive with any amount of cannabis in a person’s system. It did not make any difference if the person was under the influence or impaired by the drug. Additionally, the law did not distinguish between the active ingredient in cannabis (THC) and the inactive ingredient (THC-COOH). It is only the active ingredient that causes impairment. This law was commonly referred to as a ‘zero-tolerance’ DUI law.

Under the new law, it is no longer illegal to drive with cannabis in your system unless you are impaired (under the influence) by the substance. Basically, there are two ways a person can be found guilty under the new law:

Under Illinois law, the state’s attorney may petition on behalf of a local law enforcement agency, for the seizure of an automotive vehicle when it is used in the commission of any serious felony crime. Whether the petition is granted is solely in the judge’s discretion. In addition to drug crimes, cars may be seized for DUI, driving on a revoked license based on DUI, gambling and stalking. Of the 126 vehicles seized by the Naperville Police Department between 2012 and 2015, only 26 were involved in drug crimes.

Seized vehicles are typically sold at auction but may be used in undercover operations or training. Auction proceeds go to the police department responsible for the arrest as well as the municipality or county where the arrest occurred. Naperville made almost $170,000 off of the cars seized between 2012 and 2015, with almost $17,000 going to the police department.

Last year alone, DuPage County seized 405 vehicles. So far this year, DuPage has seized 189 vehicles, according to a spokesman for the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Construction is underway on a new eight-story criminal court at the Lake County Courthouse in Waukegan, Illinois. The new 200,000 square foot building is set to be completed by June 2018. The courthouse has not been expanded since 1989. It will include 12 new courtrooms and a walkway to the main courthouse. There is still some uncertainty as to the use of the top two floors.

The new building will also have an underground tunnel, which will allow inmates to be transported to the courthouse more efficiently. The Babcock Justice Center, which houses the county jail, is also slated for updates of the intake and booking areas and kitchen and dining areas which is scheduled to be completed in 2019. No additional jail cells will be added.

The Lake County Bar Association has expressed concerns over the current state of the courthouse including the safety and security of witnesses and privacy for meetings between attorneys and clients.

A new pilot program in Lake County offers treatment, rather than jail time for those struggling with drug abuse or addition. “A Way Out” is an initiative that will allow individuals that may be in possession of narcotics or paraphernalia to go to participating police departments requesting treatment. In exchange for their participation in the program, there will not be any criminal charges filed against them. The participants will be connected with the appropriate treatment facility immediately and the police may even provide their transportation to the facility.

A few participants have already entered the program after arriving at police stations asking for help. They were then transported to treatment facilities, mainly for opioid addiction.

Every three to six months, the program will be evaluated, changes will be made accordingly and additional police departments will be added.

Two new bills, which will make it easier for individuals with a criminal record to obtain employment, are now awaiting the signature of Governor Rauner. Under HB 5793, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation would be prohibited from barring criminals from working in certain fields, such as barbering, roofing and cosmetology, unless their crimes directly relate to the occupation for which they are trying to obtain a license. Simply put, it will be much easier for individuals with a criminal record to obtain occupational licenses. This is especially important since approximately 25% of Illinois residents need an occupational license to perform in their trade. The second bill will help individuals with criminal records obtain a license to work in healthcare.

Under current law, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation can deny occupational licenses to individuals with criminal records. Illinois provides for more than 100 licenses which may or must be denied because of a felony arrest, or sometimes even a misdemeanor.

New Bills Will Make It Easier For Felons to Find Work, www.wbez.org, June 1, 2016

By the end of July 2016, Illinois driver’s licenses and ID cards will no longer be issued at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Instead, the DMV will be issuing temporary paper cards with a photo on it, which the applicant will have for 45 days while multiple fraud checks are being performed at an off-site state facility. The new cards will be equipped with anti-counterfeiting security that will help prevent individuals from using another’s identity. After these changes are put into place, Illinois will be 84 percent compliant with the federal mandate, REAL ID, which is designed to prevent fraud and identity theft. The new license and ID cards will have a new, upgraded design as well.

Illinois Rolls Out New Design, Process for Obtaining Licenses, State ID Cards, www. nbcchicago.com, May 17, 2016

A new Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission report released last month examined juvenile expungements from 2004 to 2014. It concluded that only three records for every 1000 juvenile arrests are expunged including those cases that are ultimately dismissed. In Illinois, it is not a criminal offense to improperly share records of juveniles, as it is in many other states. The study concluded that the laws and policies of this state threaten public safety and the ability for juveniles to transition to productive adulthood.

The Commission made recommendations to increase the scope of confidentiality and access to juvenile record expungement.

Report: Only A Fraction of Juvenile Records Expunged in Illinois, www.progressillinois.com, May 2, 2016

The number of shootings in the first three months of 2016 is the highest of the decade in Chicago. At least 775 people have been shot in the city, which is up 80 percent from last year. As of March 28, there were at least 650 separate shootings. The surge in shootings is a major concern heading into the spring and summer months.

Not only are shootings in Chicago on the increase, but homicides in general are as well. So far this year, 1,142 people have been murdered in Chicago. While a majority of the homicides have occurred on the South and West sides, there has been a rise in murders all across the city.

On Easter weekend, an astounding 38 people were shot. Only one of those shootings resulted in a fatality. According to the Chicago Tribune, 40 percent of those shootings occurred in either the Englewood District or the Harrison District.

Kim Foxx will be the democratic candidate for Cook County State’s Attorney, defeating current State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez. Alvarez came under fire after waiting a year to file murder charges against an officer accused of shooting teenager Laquan McDonald 16 times. Charges were pressed only after a judge ordered the squad-car video be released to the public. Many accused Alvarez of a “cover-up.”

Foxx previously worked as chief aide to the Cook County Board President and worked in the juvenile division of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office for years. In November, Kim Foxx will face-off against Republican nominee Christopher Pfannkuche.

Dorothy Brown, who is serving her 4th term as Cook County Circuit Court Clerk, will be the democratic nominee in the upcoming election despite the federal probe into her office. While Brown did not have a majority of the vote (48 percent), she dominated over the other candidates, Michelle Harris and Jacob Meister had 31 percent and 22 percent, respectively. In October of last year, the Democratic Party announced they would no longer endorse Dorothy Brown, but would instead endorse Harris. Brown will challenge Republican nominee Diane Shapiro, who ran unopposed.