Ticket Quotas Abolished Under New Illinois Law

traffic violations, Illinois traffic laws, Illinois criminal defense attorney, Cook County defense lawyer, As of this summer, after Governor Pat Quinn signed new legislation, all Illinois Enforcement Agencies are prohibited from using ticket quotas to guide the issuance of traffic tickets and citations.

Quinn’s statements when signing the bill demonstrate that he supports the right of police officers to have discretion regarding when and where to issue traffic tickets, and that these officers should not be required to issue tickets solely to satisfy a ticket quota system.

Specifics of the Law

The law does not just affect traffic violations, but rather impacts all local, county or state departments from requiring a quota system in any area where they are tasked to maintain the law – from hunting and fishing violations to issuances of tickets under Illinois’ marijuana drug laws. Furthermore, tickets issued may not be used to evaluate an officer’s job performance.

The impact in Illinois is likely to be interesting from a civil liberties perspective. The state has long had an identified problem with racially biased arrests, particularly in certain areas, like drug arrests. The ACLU found last year that the state had the fourth highest rate of race disparity in marijuana-related arrests in the country.

Civil liberties advocates have often identified racial profiling as an insidious influence on law enforcement. The Supreme Court has ruled it unconstitutional. The federal Department of Justice issued guidelines over 11 years ago identifying these issues. However, around the country it appears these practices are still widespread.

Empirical evidence from particular traffic-related arrests and citations is appears to confirm this. In 2005, the last year federal government statistics are available on the issue, black drivers were twice as likely to be arrested during a routine traffic stop than white drivers, and Hispanic drivers were more likely than either white or black drivers to be issued an actual ticket.

It is not known how a non-quota based ticketing and citation system will impact the problem as it exists in Illinois. If officers no longer feel pressure to issue tickets, incidences of racial profiling may decrease, perhaps dramatically.

According to a new ACLU report issued in August 2014, which was based on a review of the data in the Illinois Traffic Stop Study last year, black and Latino drivers were also more likely to be asked for consent to search their vehicles at a rate twice that of whites, even though white drivers are 49 percent more likely than African-American motorists and 56 more likely than Latino drivers to have contraband discovered during such a search.

If you believe that you have been issued a ticket, citation, or subjected to other activity as a result of what you suspect to be racially motivated actions, you will need the help of an experienced Chicago criminal defense attorney. Consult with the attorneys at the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel LLC, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney to discuss your options and to see how we can help you.

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