Only 24 hours and 30 minutes separated a former serviceman from a possible DUI charge, according to .
Benjamin J. Grabinski, 21, of the 19900 block of Lakeview Way in Mokena, was stopped near LaPorte Road and Timberview Drive on Dec. 30.
Police allege that he was speeding and weaving into oncoming traffic around a bend after smoking the synthetic marijuana found in his car.
. Although the drug—which is produced in a laboratory—can impair driving ability, its chemical compounds had not been included on a statewide list of illegal substances at the time of Grabinski's arrest, Mokena Police Cmdr. Dan Rankovich said.
“You could charge someone, technically, (with DUI of drugs) but if any of the results come back and they don’t fall into the category (of illegal compounds), they can’t be prosecuted,” he said.
The official police report lists Grabinski's service as another reason he wasn't charged.
After refusing to exit his car, the police report states, Grabinski shoved an officer and then pleaded that he couldn’t afford a DUI. He said he was a former serviceman suffering from injuries sustained in the Middle East, though he didn’t specify which branch.
The police report goes on to read: “… given the driver’s current situation and the fact that he was a discharged serviceman (the reporting sergeant) would not charge him with DUI.”
Rankovich said he couldn’t verify whether the man had actually served in the United States military, but affirmed that it made no difference—despite what the report reads—because no tangible evidence could have been produced at that time showing Grabinski was impaired.
“Technically a person with diabetes could be impaired … yet they don’t have anything (illegal) in their system,” Rankovich said.
Grabinski was charged with speeding and interfering with a village officer. Warnings were issued for improper lane usage, failure to wear seatbelt, and improper display of front license plate.
The synthetic marijuana was confiscated and inventoried, and Grabinski was given a ride home after posting bond at the police station, according to the report.