The Illinois State Bar Association wants the state's DUI law changed. Supporters of changes to part of the state's law on driving under the influence think they have a pretty good example to hold up.
Three years ago, a father was charged with homicide after his son died in a car accident caused by another driver in the north eastern Illinois town of Lake Island. Scott Shirey's car was hit by a distracted driver: and though not at fault in the accident, a blood test showed Shirey had marijuana in his system. He had smoked pot one month before the fatal accident. He was sentenced to 30 months probation, but could have gone to prison. Illinois drivers with any amount of an illegal drug in their system can be charged with DUI, even if they were not impaired or at fault when a serious accident happens. The state bar association wants the law changed so that someone with marijuana in their system who was NOT impaired would be charged with a misdemeanor, not a DUI. The current law is further complicated by changing medical and recreational marijuana laws. The state bar association's bill has been filed with the State Senate and could come up for discussion in the spring.