Illinois cops stress need to amp up for pot-smoking motorists

“We won’t be ready by Jan. 1, 2020.”

So says Sgt. Brian Cluever, a police officer and traffic safety director in one Illinois community. Cluever laments how “incredibly unprepared” state law enforcers are – and will still be in upcoming months – concerned an oft-cited roadway nemesis.

That foe: marijuana-impaired drivers. There is expected to be an uptick of those across the state soon. Cluever and other cops say that those inclined to smoke while behind the wheel will more liberally engage in the practice once Gov. J.B. Pritzker affixes his signature to Illinois House Bill 1438.

That would-be law provides for a legalization scheme within the state. Pritzker is expected to approve HB1438. If he does, it will take effect from the first day of next year.

Cluever and law-enforcement groups across Illinois rue what seems to be an imminent outcome. They lobbied hard to delay the timetable, arguing that more time is needed in Illinois and across the country to develop enhanced THC-measuring devices and processes capable of routinely delivering accurate results relevant to impairment.

State police officers and troopers will be in a “tough spot” come January 1, says Cluever. They lack a tool that can gauge pot impairment via a breath test, and the processes linked with a roadside chemical test are currently not sensitive enough to deliver sufficiently accurate THC readings.

Pot-impaired drivers obviously pose risks for others sharing the road with them, just as do drunk drivers and motorists who are negligently distracted for any number of reasons. Questions or concerns regarding careless driving behaviors and resulting injuries can be directed to an experienced pro-victims’ personal injury legal team.