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Conor's law to change how officers handle drunk driving arrests

An arrest for driving under the influence is not the end of the road. Unfortunately, societal stigma and potential criminal consequences can create understandable worry for those facing drunk driving charges. A recent bill signed into law by Illinois governor aims to create a safer environment for drivers who are arrested for driving drunk.

Referred to as Conor's law, Governor Bruce Rauner signed the bill in Sept. 2017, and it will be implemented in June 2018. The bill is named after Conor Vesper, who was arrested as a young adult back in 2015. He was released from police custody a short while after his arrest and, unfortunately, went on to commit suicide. After his death his surviving family members began working to create and pass Conor's law.

The new law hopes to prevent future tragedies like Conor's. Once in effect, police will be able to detain alleged drunk drivers who are under the age of 21 until they are sober. Alternatively, they can release them to a responsible adult. The law also requires law enforcement agencies to create models for how officers should respond to individuals arrested for driving under the influence.

One advocate of the law believes that it will protect defendants who are especially vulnerable because of their age and intoxication, and might believe they do not have much of a future. It is important to protect young adults and older individuals alike during the disconcerting period after a drunk driving arrest, as the process can be understandably overwhelming. However, with careful preparation and a solid foundation for criminal defense, most Illinois defendants can successfully handle their charges to the best outcome possible.

Source:, "New DUI law signed: 'We pray that we are continuing Conor's work'", Rachel Droze, Sept. 26, 2017

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