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soda, alcohol, blood alcohol content, BAC, DUI, drinking and driving,

The results of a new study indicate that artificial sweeteners, like those found in diet sodas, increase people’s blood alcohol concentrations.

The study was conducted by Dr. Cecile A. Marczinski and lab assistant Amy L. Stamates at the Northern Kentucky University. The results were published in the medical journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. There were eight men and eight women, between the ages of 21 and 33 years old, that participated in the study. People who were infrequent drinkers were not included in the study. Also excluded were people with diabetes, psychiatric disorders, head trauma or any other injuries to the central nervous system, or anyone who has substance abuse problems. Participants came to three different sessions where they were given random drinks and then had their blood alcohol content measured. The drinks the study subjects were given were either vodka and Squirt soda, vodka and Diet Squirt soda, or vodka and a placebo drink. The drinks contained 1.97 ml/kg vodka mixed with 3.94 ml/kg of the soda or placebo. The vodka used in the drinks was 40 proof. The participants who consumed the drinks with the diet soda had significantly higher blood alcohol content than those that consumed the drinks made with regular soda. Levels measured averaged 18 percent higher. Those people also had greater impairment and slower response times. The conclusion of the study was that diet soda mixed with alcohol will result in higher blood alcohol contents than regular soda mixed with alcohol. The results of the study confirm findings from previous studies done about how diet sodas can affect blood alcohol levels. In 2011, a group of researchers surveyed people who were leaving bars. Participants of the survey shared what and how much they had drank, as well as letting researchers take breath samples. The study’s findings were that those that had consumed alcoholic beverages made with diet soda had higher blood alcohol readings. There are many things that can affect the results of a blood alcohol content test. If you’ve been arrested and charged with DUI, contact an experienced Arlington Heights criminal defense attorney to make sure your rights are protected.

gun penalties imageThe amount of crime in the city of Chicago has created national news recently.  The FBI has released statistics that there were 500 murders in Chicago last year up from 431 in 2011.  That is over 80 more than New York City although the Big Apple boasts three times the population of Chicago.   It is not the most dangerous city as the city of Flint in Michigan receives that distinction.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is trying to change the amount of violent crime in the city by making tougher laws.  He has proposed an increase to the minimum sentence for people convicted of illegally possessing a gun.  Each time that there are violent crimes in the city, both Mayor Emanuel and Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy have championed this revision at every turn.  Emanuel went so far to say, "In fact, I would like to ... note that the same minimum penalty we have for a gun law is what we have for shoplifting."

The current law sets the minimum punishment of carrying an illegal gun at two years.  Offenders often serve less half of their sentence.  The new law proposes that the minimum sentence would be raised to three years.  85 percent of the sentence would have to be served to be granted a release.

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Most people are aware that being charged with a misdemeanor is a bad thing, but not everyone is aware of what sorts of offenses fall under the category of a misdemeanor, or what the different types of misdemeanors are. In order to be fully aware of your rights and avoid facing legal trouble throughout your life, it is very important that you are informed as to what the different classifications of Illinois misdemeanors are and what kind of consequences they can lead to.

Illinois Misdemeanor Charges "Class A" Misdemeanor

Offenses under this category are generally referred to as the most serious types of misdemeanors. If you are charged with one of these, you could face up to 364 days in jail as well as a fine of up to $2500. It is also true, depending on the offense, that your sentence could include the requirement of things like probation, substance-abuse treatment, or community service work.

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illinois-underage-drinking-and-drivingIllinois has a zero tolerance policy that requires underage drinking and driving to be taken seriously across the state. The zero tolerance policy states that any driver under the age of 21 pulled over with any trace of alcohol in their system will lose driving privileges. Those individuals charged with drinking and driving should get legal advice from a qualified Arlington Heights DUI attorney.

This includes situations where an officer makes an otherwise routine traffic stop to issue a citation and has probable cause to believe that an individual younger than 21 has alcohol in their system. Officers can administer chemical tests to confirm levels of alcohol. If the test outcome determines alcohol in the driver’s system, the police officer or trooper simply submits a sworn statement to the Illinois Secretary of State to have the driver’s license suspended.

Illinois has very specific punishments for those under 21 when it comes to drinking and driving. A first offense carries a penalty of 3-month suspension of driving privileges for any BAC above .00. A second offense carries a penalty of 1-year suspension of driving privileges for any BAC above .00. Refusing to take the chemical test to verify presence of alcohol in the system also has penalties. The first violation for refusal or failure to complete a test is a 6-month suspension of driving privileges and the second violation is a 2-year suspension.

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imsis520-024Each year, new laws are put in place to change certain behaviors and make the state of Illinois a better place to live.  Former State Representative and current Chicago alderman, Deb Mell, sponsored a bill that will try to keep the streets of Illinois clean.

Cigarette butts are a constant problem on the streets of Illinois.  Lori Gummow, the executive director of Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful, said that "cigarette butts are not biodegradable.  They’re made of cellulose acetate (a plastic). They get stuck in storm water sewers, and birds eat them and can’t digest them."  They might be small but they never go away.

Starting in 2014, cigarettes butts will be classified as litter thanks to an amendment to the Litter Control Act.  While the amendment was passed in August, the law itself won’t be policed until the beginning of 2014.

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