05 Feb Marijuana, Red Light Cameras, MoDOT
Welcome to the Newsletter
Rana Law Group Newsletter
In this issue:
- Implications of Recreational & Medicinal Marijuana
- Status of Camera Tickets in IL & MO
- MODOT Travel App
Implications of Recreational & Medicinal Marijuana
Illinois recently legalized cannabis sales for recreational use and Missouri voters approved medicinal marijuana. What are the legal implications as it relates to the areas of law I practice? For starters, it is still illegal to drive while impaired. In Missouri, according to RSMo 577.010, a driver is guilty of driving while under the influence of drugs if any amount of drugs found in your system impairs your driving. In Illinois, if a driver has five nanograms or more per milliliter of THC in their blood, the driver is guilty of driving under the influence, regardless of whether the driver is impaired.
What about criminal actions? Consult Illinois’ policy regarding various rules, including where it can be smoked, how much you can have and ways to expunge marijuana related crimes. In Missouri, prosecutors from St. Louis City, St. Louis County and Jackson County all agreed not to prosecute low level marijuana charges, a move that will likely spread to other counties in Missouri. But keep in mind, a police officer can still charge you for any amount if they choose.
Status of Camera Tickets in IL & MO
As you may recall, in 2014, the Missouri Supreme Court struck down red light camera tickets because the fine was on a vehicle and not an individual. The court reasoned cities could not shift their burden of proving an individual violated the red light ordinance onto the owner of the vehicle. These cameras were expensive to install and run, so it is no surprise the proponents of the red light cameras are still working to bring them back. With new facial recognition technology, some cities are trying to bring the red light camera tickets back. St. Louis County and potentially the Missouri Legislature may take up the issue of banning the use of cameras completely, so stay tuned.
Illinois continues to issue red light camera tickets, especially around Chicago, going so far as to impose additional fines for non-payment and then withholding the fines from a violator’s state income tax return. Recently, however, the State’s comptroller stated she would no longer use state resources to collect fines for municipalities and cities and urged them to revisit their red light camera ticket policy. For those cities and municipalities that continue issuing red light camera tickets, they will have to use collections companies to recover the fine at their expense.
MODOT Travel App
I have to admit, I am fascinated with the new app from MODOT available for Apple and Android devices. This app allows the user to see road conditions, work zones and CAMERAS. Actual, live cameras. After downloading it, I started just looking at random cameras just to see traffic conditions. This is an incredibly useful tool to plan any trip or your daily commute to avoid traffic, construction zones or inclement weather. It does, however, raise concerns of Big Brother constantly watching.