Morgan County sheriff weighs in on Conor’s Law

By Gary Scott on September 30, 2017 at 9:42am

Morgan County Sheriff Randy Duvendack believes the recently signed “Conor’s Law” is a good concept.

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed the new legislation earlier this week at Blackburn College in Carlinville. Conor’s Law allows police to hold anyone under the age of 21 who has been arrested for being under the influence of drugs or alcohol until they have sobered up, or a responsible adult comes to get them.

Duvendack said the law could be similar to dealing with cases involving people with mental health issues.

“If we believe somebody has mental health issues and we’re supposed to release them, we try to get them to medical professionals – not just kick them out the door and let them fend for themselves. We try to get them referred to health professionals to give them further care and treatment.”

Duvendack said the first step in this situation would be to try to make contact with a parent or relative. In cases where the parent or relative is not available, police will seek permission to release the person in custody to another responsible adult.

“We don’t want to release somebody who is still under the influence, or they’re impaired, to drive or do anything else that may cause harm to themselves or another person.” He said the sheriff’s department has been on top of situations like this all along.

Conor’s Law is named for Conor Vesper, a valedictorian at Staunton High School who took his own life after posting bond following a DUI arrest.

The legislation is set to go into effect in June of next year.