Rep. Windhorst Appointed to DUI Cannabis Task Force

Metropolis….State Representative Patrick Windhorst (R-Metropolis) has been appointed to serve as a member of the Illinois DUI Cannabis Task Force. HB 1438, now Public Act….101-0027, creates the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act and contains language establishing the DUI Cannabis Task Force.

Windhorst previously served as Massac County State’s Attorney for 14 years prior to becoming State Representative. Rep. Windhorst voted no on legalizing cannabis for adult recreational use, citing potential unforeseen public safety consequences among other objections. Windhorst issued the following statement upon receiving notification of his appointment to the DUI Cannabis Task Force.

“First, I want to thank Leader Jim Durkin for recognizing that my prosecutorial background could be an asset to the law enforcement community as a policy and testing strategy is built to deal with cannabis-impaired drivers.

As a former prosecutor, I have seen first-hand the dangers and consequences of drugged driving. Marijuana seriously impairs a driver’s reaction time. Data from the state of Washington indicates that fatal car crashes where pot was involved have more than doubled since legalization. In Colorado, marijuana-positive fatal traffic crashes increased almost 90 percent from 2013 to 2015.

As of January 1, 2020, Illinois will allow individuals to possess up to 30 grams of cannabis flower and up to 5 grams of concentrated cannabis products like oil and dabs.

Increasing public access to high-potency cannabis products will undoubtedly lead to more intoxicated drivers on Illinois’ roads. As roadside testing for drugged driving continues to evolve, I am encouraged to be able to participate in this important task force to study best practices for law enforcement and to implement policies to protect the safety of the public. As of now, roadside tests are inadequate to the task that surely lies ahead. I will work diligently with the law enforcement community and officials from the House, Senate, and Governor’s office to craft policies that will take impaired drivers off of our roads, and discourage individuals from driving while under the influence of cannabis.