At approximately 6:30 p.m. on the day before Christmas Eve, police responded to a two-vehicle car accident. Upon their arrival, officers claim that one of the people involved, a 39-year-old Illinois man, was acting erratically, swaying and mumbling. That man now faces multiple drug charges and driving under the influence of drugs, along with traffic violations.
The city's only drug recognition officer arrived at the scene to assess the man after a Breathalyzer revealed that he was not intoxicated. That officer determined that the man was high. A search of his vehicle allegedly produced bags of what officers believed to be heroin, a bottle of what looked like marijuana and pills initially identified as Xanax, along with drug paraphernalia.
Riverside police claim that the man supposedly admitted later that he smoked marijuana, took Xanax and used heroin prior to the accident. Reports indicate that the drug recognition officer made approximately 500 drug-related DUI arrests over a 10-year period. It was not reported how many of those arrests resulted in a conviction.
This accused man, and anyone else in Illinois facing drug charges under similar conditions, retains the right to the presumption of innocence until and unless proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. He also retains the right to legal counsel. His criminal defense team will undoubtedly review the drug recognition officer's and other officers' actions leading up to and including his arrest to assess whether his rights were violated. Further, the conditions under which the man allegedly made admissions to officers will also be scrutinized. Thereafter, a strategy regarding resolution of the charges can be explored.
Source: abc7chicago.com, "Man did heroin, other drugs before Riverside crash, police say", Laura Podesta, Dec. 27, 2016