New 2016 Laws in Illinois Include Directives for Police

New 2016 Laws in Illinois Include Directives for Police

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois police and sheriffs’ departments will have guidelines for using body cameras when new laws take effect in 2016.

Body cameras won’t be mandated, but officers in departments that use them must keep them on when they’re responding to calls or interacting with the public.

Law enforcement also will be prohibited from using chokeholds unless it’s for self-defense.

The directives are among 237 new laws taking effect Friday, Jan. 1.

Here’s a glimpse at some of them:

  • JUVENILE SENTENCING: Minors will no longer face mandatory life sentences without parole. Lifelong prison sentences can still happen for serious crimes, but judges will be allowed more discretion.
  • POWDERED ALCOHOL: Illinois is among 27 states to ban powdered alcohol before it’s sold in stores. The makers of the product, called Palcohol, have gotten federal approval to sell it, but say on their website they’re not looking for distributors in the U.S.
  • BOBCAT HUNTING: Hunting bobcats will be legal from Nov. 1 through Feb. 15. The aim of the new law is to control the animal’s population.
  • 911 PRANK CALLS: Intentionally calling 911 without a legitimate reason will come with a hefty price — up to $10,000 to reimburse local governments to recover associated costs.
  • CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS: Schools will be required to have them. Lawmakers took action after more than 180 students and staff at a rural Illinois school were taken to a hospital after a carbon monoxide leak in 2014.
  • PUMPKIN PIE: It will be the official state pie, because 90 percent of the pumpkins in the country are produced in Illinois.

There will also be a requirement that people convicted of two DUI offenses have a breathalyzer in their car for five years instead of one year.

Mental health professionals also will be forbidden from practicing gay-conversion therapy on minors. And terminally ill patients will be allowed to try experimental drugs that haven’t yet made it to market.