I knew something was off

So the shooter was a federal informant, huh? Very interesting, because they released so little information about the shooter, we all wondered what they were hiding:

Driving around Illinois? Know the new rules of the road

Photo by Pedro Lastra on Unsplash

Texting and driving has been banned in Illinois since 2014. Unfortunately, that has not stopped many in the state from picking up their phone and texting or emailing while driving. Law enforcement officials, as well as lawmakers, have noticed that the ban was not stopping this dangerous behavior. For this reason, the laws on texting and driving are now stricter in Illinois. 

As of July 1, 2019, not only is texting and driving against the law, but even holding your cell phone behind the wheel is illegal. The law applies to all devices, including tablets and laptops. Those charged with breaking the law face a $75 fine for a first offense and $100 for a second offense. Those that continue to break the law and are charged with a third offense will face a fine of $125. For any subsequent offenses, the fine is $150. 

Those fines are not the worst of it, though. The law also changes a violation from a traffic violation to a moving violation. That means drivers that are caught breaking the law three times or more face a suspension of their license, even if they are at a stop sign or red lights. Points could also be added to their license. 

“Hopefully with the new law, drivers will start to pay more attention to the road, rather than their phones,” says Ronald F. Wittmeyer, Jr., of the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer. LTD. “Distracted driving is dangerous and causes thousands of accidents every year. Still, drivers were just not getting the message. Maybe this law will force them to.” 

It just might. Prior to July 1, only texting and driving was banned, but drivers could still hold their phones, the law was largely unenforceable. There was really no deterrent for texting and driving. A police officer could pull a driver over for texting and driving, and the driver could simply claim they were using their phone for another purpose. That will no longer be the case. Now if an officer sees a motorist holding their phone, it is much easier to hold them accountable for the act. 

It has always been important to pull over if you want to use your phone. With the new laws, though, failing to do so comes with much harsher consequences.


Should police be able to draw blood from unconscious DUI suspects?

Photo by Hush Naidoo on Unsplash

Recently, the Supreme Court made a ruling that not only violates the Fourth Amendment, but also many other major rulings around the country. In June, the highest court in the land determined that police can withdraw blood from unconscious DUI suspects to prove they were driving while impaired. Unfortunately, it disagrees with their past rulings and the Fourth Amendment.

The Fourth Amendment states that no person shall have their blood drawn without providing consent, or when law enforcement does not first obtain a warrant. The procedure is considered invasive and a violation of a person’s rights. Still, the Supreme Court made their radical decision, arguing that drivers have given implied consent to have their blood alcohol levels tested just by being behind the wheel.

“The decision is a disgrace to the Constitution,” says Karin Riley Porter of Price Benowitz. “It is a clear violation of a person’s rights. There is also no need for it. Obtaining a warrant is not the long process it once was. Technology has made it much easier, and has allowed law enforcement to obtain a warrant much more quickly.” 

The argument for drawing blood from unconscious DUI suspects is that a person’s blood alcohol level can dissipate within a relatively short period of time. However, that argument is just not strong enough to determine that a person deserves to have their rights violated. 

The ruling goes against a 2013 ruling the Supreme Court made when they determined drawing blood without a suspect’s consent was unconstitutional. That vote ended in the same 5-4 decision this most recent ruling received. Unfortunately, two of the justices that voted in that majority no longer serve in the court. 

The court used a Wisconsin law when making their decision. In Wisconsin, an unconscious suspect’s blood can be drawn without their consent. However, it becomes a very dangerous situation when the Supreme Court chooses to follow state law, rather than the federal law they are supposed to abide by. This recent ruling is only going to infringe on the rights of citizens, and will not make the roads any safer.


A win?

This announcement was made just an hour before the federal judge on the case said he wanted an answer about the inclusion. Otherwise, he was going to decide on whether the Hofeller material clearly showed discriminatory intent.

That would have kept it from going to SCOTUS. But let’s face it, the administration lies like the proverbial rug. So we’ll see.

I’m sure they’ll come up with some other way of stealing the election, though!