Zuba & Associates, P.C.

Rockford Illinois Legal Blog

Marijuana laws in Illinois

A pilot program in Illinois that is supposed to run until the end of 2018 permits some patients to use medical marijuana. While the state's Controlled Substances Act makes possessing, cultivating, selling or trafficking marijuana a crime, if a person has less than 2.5 grams of cannabis, it is considered a Class C misdemeanor and the person will simply be required to pay a fine. Laws about drugs such as heroin and cocaine are much stricter.

Possession of marijuana only becomes a felony when a person has 30 grams or more. If the person has 2.5 to 10 grams, it is a class B misdemeanor and a class A misdemeanor for larger amounts under 30 grams. However, possession of 10-30 grams becomes a Class 4 felony when it is a subsequent offense. There are four felony classes, and a Class 1 felony for marijuana possession involves more than 5,000 grams. Having one to five producing plants is considered a Class A misdemeanor, but any more than that is a felony. The penalty for having more than 50 includes a fine of up to $100,000.

Are breathalyzer tests accurate?

We all know that the amount of alcohol in our blood can be tested — but most of us don’t know exactly how our breath relays a BAC score. And, while we know a number of factors influence our BAC level, can certain factors skew the score a breathalyzer displays?

The truth is that breathalyzers aren’t always accurate. From the way they test to the complications that can arise during the test, here are a few reasons why.

Vehicle crash deaths down, except with large trucks

There aren't as many people losing their lives in Illinois and the rest of the United States from vehicle-related accidents as last year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This information comes from NHTSA data that compares vehicle crash statistics from 2017 against figures for the previous year. In fact, crash-related deaths were down for all vehicle types, except for large trucks in urban areas, SUVs and tractor-trailers.

According to the NHTSA, fewer car, van, light pickup truck, motorcycle and bicycle drivers and passengers experienced personal injury deaths in 2017 than the prior year. There was also a slight decline in pedestrian fatalities along with fewer instances of alcohol-impaired and speeding-related deaths involving motor vehicles. While it's too soon to refer to the findings as a trend, the results do show a noticeable reduction in roadway fatalities compared to what was seen in prior years.

Presence of opposite sex co-workers increases divorce rate

Illinois residents who are employed in industries that expose them to numerous co-workers of the opposite sex could experience a greater rate of divorce according to a study based on Danish demographic data. A researcher at Stockholm University analyzed the massive trove of demographic data collected in Denmark and found a correlation between divorce rates and the availability of alternative partners at work.

When men worked in male-dominated industries like construction, they had a measurably lower chance of divorce than the few women present in the male-dominated fields. Among men who worked in locations with many female co-workers, divorce rates were much higher compared to people working in largely same-sex environments. The data revealed that men working in the presence of many women had the highest divorce rates although women working around many men sought divorces more often than other women.

Divorcing late in life increases risk of depression

Stress and depression related to divorce have been known to exacerbate existing health problems or cause the emergence of new ones. People at or over the age of 50 are at a heightened risk for mental and physical health problems when they divorce later in life. In Illinois, the process begins with the filing of a divorce petition, and the stress may begin earlier than that. According to the Holmes-Rahe Stress Inventory, legal uncoupling is the second most stressful life event that is commonly experienced.

The rate of divorce for people at or over 50 in the U.S. has doubled since the year 1990, a phenomenon sometimes referred to as "gray divorce". While the rate for people younger than 50 is still much higher, it is not increasing dramatically. The divorce rate for people under age 40 has fallen since 1990 and the rate for people in their 40s has risen only slightly.

How parents can benefit by sharing custody

Sharing child custody can offer many benefits to Illinois parents. For example, one parent won't be solely responsible for creating and enforcing rules and boundaries. Shared custody also means that a parent can develop a routine that balances family life with work and social obligations. Parents should work together with their children to find a schedule that works well for everyone.

Another perk of shared custody is that it may not be necessary to find a babysitter or be home early from a date. This allows single parents to focus more on their new relationships while ensuring that their children are cared for. In many cases, not being with the kids all the time means that parents better appreciate the time that they do have with them. Furthermore, it is important that a child gets to spend time with both parents while growing up.

What older people contend with after divorce

An Illinois couple may choose to get divorced for a variety of reasons. However, unless a spouse is in an unsafe relationship, rushing to a divorce may not be a wise decision. It's important to consider the potential negative consequences, especially when the partners are older.

Furthermore, a divorce could have implications for friends or family members. Studies show that one is more likely to get a divorce after a friend goes through a separation. Adult children may have to deal with negative emotions after learning that their parents are no longer together. There is also a financial and social impact to ending a marriage that older people may struggle with. Single divorced women over the age of 65 are 80 percent more likely than males to lack necessary financial resources.

6 Tips for driving in sun glare

If it has seemed like your mornings and late afternoons are getting brighter, it’s not just you. Sun glare is worse in the fall. Since these bright conditions are usually about the same time as rush hour, driving in sun glare can be especially hazardous this time of year.

However, using these tips may help keep this dangerous distraction from causing an accident.

Safe driving in heavy traffic and around school buses

Safety-minded drivers in Illinois can take certain steps to reduce the risks of accidents with pedestrians, bicyclists and other drivers. Since school is back in session, it's important to be especially vigilant around children pedestrians and buses. Drivers will want to keep their eyes moving from side to side as kids may dart out onto the street, often without using a crosswalk.

It's important to anticipate potential dangers by observing the taillights of the vehicles in front. Before turning or changing lanes, they should check their mirrors and watch for bicyclists who pull up into their blind spots. Another important tip is to stay on familiar routes whenever possible.

Divorce can be 'contagious' among friends

People in Illinois who decide to divorce may soon see their friends taking a similar path, according to one study. The research, conducted by social scientists at Harvard University, Brown University and the University of California at San Diego, backs up a common social belief that divorce can be "contagious." Observed anecdotally among many groups of friends, people often see one friend divorce followed by several others. There are a number of reasons why this can occur, partially because people staying in an unhealthy marriage through a sense of inertia are inspired to move forward when seeing their friends' journeys.

Statistics show that people are 75 percent more likely to divorce after a friend divorces. Even when a friend of a friend divorces, spouses in their social circle are 33 percent more likely to separate themselves. When someone sees a friend divorce, they may be more likely to question their willingness to remain in an unhappy marriage. In addition, newly divorced friends may enjoy a single life with new relationships and interests, and this can be appealing to people who have spent years in an unfulfilling marriage.

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Zuba & Associates, P.C

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Rockford, IL 61107

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