It’s a new year and there are many new laws taking effect once again in Illinois. The new laws will be enacted on Jan. 1, 2016 at midnight – unless otherwise specified – according to a Huffington Post article posted on Friday. The state’s legislators have written and passed laws that involve pets, drinking, driving, drugs, the elderly and more.
In 2016, a person with multiple DUIs may once again obtain a driver’s license. Prior to 2016, four DUIs equated to the loss of one’s driver’s license forever in the Land of Lincoln. As of the New Year, DUI offenders may get a restricted driving permit if they have been without a license for five years and can prove that they have changed their drinking concern. That means they have had no drugs or alcohol for at least three years.
A related new law involves underage drinking in Illinois. A new law provides legal protection for a person needing medical help and the person who calls for him. According to Fox News, a minor who calls 911 to get help is allowed immunity from prosecution. In such instances, it has been written that police will have the authority to determine whether protection from legal discipline is appropriate, much as laws are on the books elsewhere that address heroin overdoses.
While speaking of alcohol consumption, there is a new law regarding powdered alcohol. According to NBC News, a new law will ban powdered alcohol. The law was designed to prevent persons from using the product to drug someone or to sprinkle the substance on food.
Similarly, there is a new law that restricts the sale of caffeine in powdered form. The ban regarding powdered caffeine disallows a person under 18 years of age from purchasing it. The law was authored after a minor died via powdered caffeine.
In Illinois, as of the beginning of the New Year, a terminally-ill patient will have the right to try experimental drugs after all other methods of treatment have been attempted. The “right-to-try” law involves experimental drugs that were formerly prohibited.
The “Silver Alert” program is designed to help find missing adults with Alzheimer’s and dementia, according to Pantagraph. The program is quite similar to the successful program in place that finds missing children – “Amber Alert.” “Silver Alert,” like “Amber Alert,” will use the media including highway signs and text alerts to help find missing adults.
Illinois has taken another step in saying enough is enough regarding the mistreatment of animals, says a CBS News report. Any person who leaves a pet outside in extreme weather could be fined $2,500 or be sentenced to a year in jail. The law says that no owner of a dog or cat that is a companion animal may expose the dog or cat in a manner that places the dog or cat in a life-threatening situation for a prolonged period of time in extreme heat or cold conditions that results in injury to or death of the animal.
Hunting bobcats is legal again in Illinois as of 2016, says Reboot Illinois. Legislators supporting the bill believe that bobcats are no longer an endangered species.
Divorce law in Illinois is changing in 2016, also. There will only be one ground for divorce – irreconcilable differences. Previously, there had been grounds such as adultery, physical cruelty and mental cruelty. The terms “child custody” and “visitation” are getting a reboot as well. Judges will now claim that a parent has “parenting responsibilities.”
Though the law is more for perusal of state data than having impact on Illinois residents, there is a new law regarding the state’s identifiers. Illinois now will have a state pie. In that Illinois is the top producer of pumpkin in the United States – producing about 85 percent of the nation’s pumpkins – the state pie is now pumpkin pie. Critics of pumpkin pie say it is basically tasteless and needs spice and whipped cream to make it interesting – which is nothing like Illinois politicians and the legislators who made these new laws for 2016.
Many new laws in Illinois took effect throughout 2015. Among the most controversial was the new medical marijuana law in the state. See the video posted with the article if you want to learn about Illinois’ new marijuana law.