New Law Requires Photo ID To Buy Some Drain Cleaners

CHICAGO (CBS) — A new state law requires those who buy industrial drain cleaners and other caustic substances to provide photo identification and sign a log.

The law does not apply to most drain cleaners that consumers typically buy at grocery stores, but only to high-grade industrial cleaners that are normally only sold at hardware stores. Even so, it’s getting a rough reception from customers and merchants alike although perhaps none more than a cashier at Schroeder’s True Value Hardware in Lombard.

“They’re not very happy about it at all,” said Don Schroeder, one of the store’s owners. “One of the customers actually threatened the (cashier) and threatened to throw the acid on her.”

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts reports

Although the customer did not make good on the threat, and no one called police, other employees of Schroeder’s said they would call police immediately if any similar threat is made.

The law, which took effect Sunday, requires those who seek to buy caustic or noxious substances, except for batteries, to provide government-issued photo identification that shows their name and date of birth. The cashier then must log the name and address, the date and time of the purchase, the type of product, the brand and even the net weight.

Schroeder said that when he called his local legislator, the legislator claimed not to know about the new law. Neither, he said, did other retailers in the area. He said he and other store personnel had to call to a number of stores before they could get details.

Non-compliance results in fines: $150 for the first offense, $500 for the second and up to $1,500 for the third and subsequent violations.

Schroeder estimated that there are “easily” 30 or more products in the store that must be reported when sold.

Jewel-Osco has removed the few items it carried from its shelves, but Schroeder said he does not have that option as a hardware store. He said he does not believe that the precautions written into the bill will prevent such crimes from occurring.

“How are they going to find out, by asking every customer, what kid might have done that? It’s not going to solve any problems,” Schroeder said. “It’s not going to cure anything.”

More from Bob Roberts
  • Fed Up W. Idiots

    Just another revenue siphon. There is no way to monitor or strictly enforce this. Jack Franks should explain how the contents of the product can be absolutely linked to the purchasor. What an idiot.

  • John

    Our brilliant Illinois legislators hard at work wasting your taxpayer dollars.



    • Young Vet

      Not sure about you, but I had to produce photo ID to vote….

      • Young Vet

        I too have voting in Illinois for 22 year…I’ve had to produce one every time I’ve voted in Illinois., granted I’ve never lived in Chicago where the rumour is that even the dead vote.

        Rock Island…Springfield…and now Naperville.

      • GortRules

        I’ve been voting in Chicago for 22 years. Never…not once…have I had to produce a valid govt issued ID to vote. In fact, I haven’t had to produce any kind of confirmation of my identity or my residence. No, I simply have to sign in, take my ballot, vote and drop it in the box on my way out. Of course, I always take my ID, my voter registration card and a utility bill…just in case.

      • James Buchanan

        Most states you don’t have to have any proof of your identity besides a piece of mail. States that are making it law to have an official photo ID required to vote are being taken to court by the Department of (in)Justice.

      • Chris

        And yet, where is Eric Holder’s lawsuit against the state of Illinois over this law. Does this not descriminate against minorities who may not have a state-issued ID?

        Surely Mr. Holder isn’t fighting photo-ID requirements for voting for completely different reasons, and using the discrimination arguement as a smoke-screen. He’d never do that.

  • john

    Next the State will issue DROID (DRain Opener ID) Cards.
    What a stupid law. It is time to flush everyone out of Springfield

  • john

    They will probably smuggle it in and be selling it on the street or they can use their LINK card from their anchor baby. Time to flush out the policiticans in Springfield


    • tom johnson

      How many actually read the bill??? (another :LETS’ PASS THIS SO WE CAN SEE WHAT’S IN IT) State Rep. Jack Franks (D-Woodstock) needs his sanity inspected…..

  • joanie134

    State Representative Jack Franks had a knee jerk reaction to a horrific crime. These substances are used very commonly and tracing them will be impossible. From what I recall, a couple of morons who used acid to attack a woman on the street were apprehended and prosecuted. So exactly what is this law going to accomplish except bothering home owners who have long hair and clogged drains?

    • GlockG20

      Simple, it sets one more infringement that the people will slowly accept… then another will come then another and another and before you know it you won’t be able to leave your house without your papers.

      • Fran Greenfield

        After reading the NDAA….and seeing no outburst or indignation by the people then you are right….this too will be accepted quietly and so will the next and the next…..a definite slave country with people who slavishly accept laws that have no real benefit to them. Glad I’m not a USr…but I won’t be surprised if it gets up here considering the PM we have who slavishly follows your Pres. Orwell has finally arrived.

      • D

        …paid for with (formerly) your money.

      • supersniffy

        And if you do leave, the surveillance cams will watch where you go, who you meet, what you buy. Orwell was right, just off by a couple of years.

      • Ozlanthos

        Fortunately we can stop it all right now! All we have to do is say NO! Won’t sell me bleach without an ID? NO, I will not show you my ID! They don’t sell you the bleach, but then they have to have someone put it back, and they will lose the money you would have paid them for it. Keep doing it, and encourage others to do it until the Nazi-collaborators let you buy bleach and other products without ID!!!


    • mcdanger

      It is going to cost businesses a bunch of money to comply with this useless law. Is there now an age limit on who can buy drain cleaner? Great governor you have there that would sign such an asinine piece of legislation. No surprise this is Obamamas home.

  • joanie134

    Maybe SR Franks should have all the wedding registries monitored by the State of Illinois if cutlery is requested since stabbings occur. This makes about as much sense as the law regarding the drain cleaner

  • ms

    Dont they make meth with that stuff?

    • Joe

      But I don’t think curtailing the availability of drain cleaner in one state would do much to stop the illicit manufacture of hard drugs. Or reduce violent crime. Do you?

    • Mike Martin

      Yes-chemical drain openers are among the most toxic chemicals on the shelves of grocery stores and hardware stores. They are used in meth production and 85,000 children a year are seriously injured from these types of household substances. They are dangerous, but the good news is there are completely safe alternatives including a product I recently discovered on the shelves of Home Depot. Plumb Away is a great alternative, it’s environmentally friendly, cheaper and will not harm your children if they happen to find it.

      • Kakarot

        “…85,000 children a year are seriously injured from these types of household substances”

        Got a source for that? 85,000 seems just a little bit high.

        If you spread the total out, it comes to just short of 1500 for each of the 57 states.

      • timboalogo

        It also doesn’t work.

        Most “real” drain cleaners are merely a strong base, such as sodium hydroxide.

        “Yes-chemical drain openers are among the most toxic chemicals on the shelves”
        Toxic to what? This chemical is quite common and used in a many useful applications. Such as: hair straightener, fruit cleaner, soap manufacturing, degreaser, making biodiesel, making paper, and as a ph modifier in drilling fluids for oil wells. And many many more important applications.

        Almost everything is toxic to something else. I assume you would like to ban vinegar? How about lemon juice – a very scary acid!

        Don’t be a fear monger!

      • captian obvious

        let’s ban stupid people from having kids…..I ment to say lets ban sharps sticks because millions of children a year poke their eyes out according to a government survey of a 4 year old. We can not ban everything that is dangerious, how would you ban Democrats, or for the most part any politcian? Think of everything we must outlaw according to this thought process, roller skates, cars, stairs, broccoli.. (most kids think its poision), no more coffee tables with sharp corners, hardwood floors with socks on, and don’t even think about having elastic waist bands in underware. (wegies) NOTHING is CHILD SAFE

      • Joe in Missouri

        They probably use water to make meth too – perhaps that should be licensed too?
        Horseback riding and horses are very dangerous perhaps they should be out right outlawed. Especially in the peoples republic of IL.

      • disgusted

        How refreshing, an O-bot who’s sanguine about more statis intrusive government regulation and intrusion into normal people’s lives.

        Hey Mike Martin, do you run with scissors in your hands? Speed when driving? Tear off the “DO NOT REMOVE” tags from your mattress? I thought not.

        You need to stay inside, where you are safe from the Real World, and O’Barry can keep you bubble-wrapped from danger.

    • Ozlanthos

      Actually whites and Mexicans make over 90% of the Meth these days. Crack on the other hand….


  • Bill

    Lets hope no one figures out what gasoline and a match can do.

    • MorganGray

      Don’t give them any ideas. Gas is already expensive enough!

    • J_Ruben_Kincaid


  • saideg

    It’s just the beginning of the year but I think we’ve already found the most stupid government action for 2012. And of course, it’s the state of Illinois.

  • Just Axin

    It’s just not that f-up Franks, it’s all the other SOBs (including Quinn who signed it) that made this a law. So instead of draino, now these psychos will use lighter fluid. You think a no spray paint ban helped Chgo? The wasteoids then used acid or just etched up windows.

  • Clarence J. Zima

    The politicians in Springfield can’t solve the states real problems so they spend their time writing stupid laws . This is not only an inconvenience for the shopper, it is a bigger burden for the business that must now keep records of those sales.

  • James


    • GlockG20

      If you want your rights then exercise them don’t ask for permission. It’s really that simple. If enough people stepped up and EXERCISED their rights without asking permission the idiocy would stop.

      Criminals don’t ask permission so why should you?

  • Crustyrusty

    That ranks up there with banning spray paint to stop the taggers. Nice move, morons.

  • helpful hardware kid

    FYI Its an ACE Hardware not a True Value people..and its one of the best around

  • Glen

    Well I know what I’ll be selling on eBay next. 10% off for Illinois residents too!

  • cbailey

    Man, those dudes down there in Springfield really don’t have anything to do but create asinine laws and regulations. Maybe we should vote all of them out and get a new crop of idiots in the General Assembly.

  • TomS

    Just like the donkeys to come up with this, and at the same time, don’t want ID requirements to vote. The donkeys have lost all credibilty. They actually say such stupid things, then expect us to fall for it. They cry “wolf” so oftern (racism), that they lose their punch. The only way they win next election cycle is to CHEAT.

    • TomS

      End eye knat tipe wurth beens.

  • MorganGray

    So, lemmee get this right, just so I can understand it.
    Democrats want a law to force us to show a photo ID to buy drain cleaner, but oppose a law to require a photo ID to vote?

    Beam me up, Scotty. There is absolutely NO intelligent life down here.

    • LimboLizard

      This places an outrageous, intolerable – even racist – burden on minorities with clogged drains. As we know, they have a MUCH harder time procuring an official photo ID. Why, this law is a new type of Jim Crow-ism, trying to deny minorities the self-help plumbing solutions enjoyed by whites, and force them to pay for an expensive visit from a plumber – and, probably a white plumber!

      • Mad Myche

        A White Union Plumber

  • nugy

    asking legal americans for proof of citizenship but if you ask an illegal alien for proof of citizenship it is against the law.

  • Captain Obvious

    This is gun-control mentality: ban the object, not the criminal. This shows just how stupid gun control is.

    • CarryingColoradan

      That’s exactly what I thought of when I read this: It seems to me that this evolved directly from the “ban/regulate/criminalize gun possession because sometimes bad people use guns in the commission of crimes” mindset.

  • Joan of Snark

    Oh, sure, someone who wants to throw acid in someone’s face is going to jump through these kind of hoops to buy it from a store. But God forbid you are asked to show photo ID to cast a ballot in an election.

  • Gibbs Bentley

    Politicians are degenerates that are paid with your wealth, extracted through taxation, with the threat of deadly force if you don’t pay their salaries. They are thugs in suits with a flag and paperwork. Government is the gang.

  • Allie F.

    But the same Dems don’t want you to have to show a photo ID to vote??????

  • HA HA HA

    This is a racist law. Everyone knows that blacks and poor people don’t have identification.

    • James Buchanan

      I guess they can’t unclog their toilets using chemicals then

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