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Conor's Law Prioritizes Safety of Underage Drinkers

Posted on in Criminal Law

Conor's Law Prioritizes Safety of Underage DrinkersBeing arrested is a frightening experience for a young person, whether a juvenile or young adult. They may feel intimidated by the process and fear that they have ruined their lives. If the young person is under the influence of an intoxicating substance, he or she may make a drastic decision. Such was the unfortunate case for an Illinois college student in 2015, whose actions after his driving under the influence of alcohol arrest led to him committing suicide. Illinois recently created Conor’s Law, which requires police officers to take additional steps to ensure the safety of an underage arrestee who may be intoxicated.

What Went Wrong

Conor Vesper was a student at Blackburn College when he was pulled over and arrested on suspicion of DUI. He was released on bond in the early morning hours but reportedly had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.124. After walking back to his apartment, he borrowed his roommate’s car in order to drive to his family’s home. Likely still impaired, his driving behavior once again drew the attention of a police officer. This time, he did not stop and led police on a chase. Once at home, he was able to procure a gun and shot himself.

Conor’s Law

Conor Vesper’s mother believes that her son should not have been released on his own while he was still intoxicated. Illinois lawmakers agree and created Conor’s Law, which requires police to take protective measures with an arrestee who is younger than 21 and suspected of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol:

  • An officer who has reason to believe that an underage arrestee is intoxicated must try to contact a responsible adult who can take custody of the intoxicated person;
  • If a responsible adult cannot be contacted, the officer will offer the arrestee a breath or chemical test to determine sobriety;
  • If the arrestee agrees to this test, the results cannot be used in a criminal or civil case; and
  • Upon release, the arrestee’s vehicle must be impounded for 12 hours.

The Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standards Board will be responsible for writing the language of the new policy and teaching it to police departments across the state.

Learning from Mistakes

Young people should not feel that being arrested means their lives are over. It is important that they have the chance to learn from their mistakes. A McHenry County criminal defense attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, will fight against criminal penalties that may hinder a young person’s ability to lead a productive life. To schedule a free consultation, call 815-338-3838.



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