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Milan, IL -- Amy Barrilleaux reports
New law could mean bad news for allergy sufferers
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IL Attorney General Meth Net

"(I was) made to feel like a criminal -- Made to feel low, dirty. Just totally degraded," recalled Tim Naveau, who says he'll never forget the hours he spent in Rock Island County Jail -- he says all because of his allergies.

"They searched me, made me take my shirt off, my shoes off," he recounted.

Tim takes one 24-hour Claritin-D tablet just about every day. That puts him just under the legal limit of 75-hundred milligrams of pseudo ephedrine a month. The limit is part of a new law that Quad Cities authorities are beginning to strictly enforce.

The law limits the amount of pseudo ephedrine you can buy. Pseudo ephedrine is an ingredient in medicines like Sudafed and Claritin-D, and it's also a key ingredient in methamphetamines.

"It's the only allergy medicine that works for me -- for my allergies," Tim explained.

The only problem is, Tim has a teenaged son who also suffers from allergies. And minors are not allowed to buy pseudo ephedrine.

"I bought some for my boy because he was going away to church camp and he needed it," he said.

That decision put Tim over the legal limit. Two months later, there was a warrant for his arrest.

"I was flabbergasted," he said. "Just totally amazed that I could be in trouble."

Rene Sandoval, Director of the Quad Cities Metropolitan Enforcement Agency -- the agency that enforces the law -- says it's meant to catch meth makers, and does.

"We've seen a huge decline in methamphetamine labs," Sandoval said.

But even if you're not making meth, if you go over that limit -- of one maximum strength pill per day -- you will be arrested.

"Does it take drastic measures? Absolutely. Have we seen a positive result? Absolutely," Sandoval stressed.

But for Tim, the law is going too far.

"I believe I'm a good citizen," he said. "I don't believe I'm doing anything wrong. And I believe they're going after the wrong people."

Sandoval says the law applies to everybody. So everybody needs to keep track of how much pseudo ephedrine is in the medicine they're buying.

Tim Naveau went to several different pharmacies to buy Claritin-D.

He was charged with a Class-B misdemeanor.

For more information on Illinois meth laws, you can log onto the Attorney General's website.

http://www.ag.state.il.us/methnet/index.html

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