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Tainted drugs may be addressed by rarely used Illinois law

Drug and alcohol abuse is a serious problem for many in Illinois, and the problem is compounded when tainted drugs are sold to those who think they understand their tolerance level. To help counter this problem, a local mother is bringing attention to an old law in Illinois that is rarely used.

According to the Chicago Sun Times, the woman’s brother died several years ago of fentanyl toxicity. At the time, she assumed the case would be treated as a homicide but was surprised when she was told cases such as that were not investigated. She mistakenly believed the Illinois Drug Homicide Law would be used because a homicide caused by drugs is a Class X felony in the state.

The law states that a death caused by absorption, ingestion or inhalation of a controlled substance delivered unlawfully is considered a homicide but although it has been on the books for three decades, has only been used a handful of times to investigate. The Chicago Police Department addressed the issue in a statement, saying that all overdose deaths were responded to and investigated.

The woman’s concern is possibly that the responsibility for overdose deaths lie with only the drug user, when she believes the seller should also be held responsible in an overdose. Only a small number of drug dealers have been charged with drug-induced homicides, perhaps showing that these cases are hard to prove and not high priority for officers.

Anyone who has been accused of a drug related crime may benefit from speaking to an attorney. This is especially true when a death or overdose is part of the situation.