Is your drain clogged? If you live in Illinois, you must now show a government-issued photo ID if you want to fix the problem by buying industrial-strength drain cleaner or other “caustic or noxious substances.” And be prepared to have your name, address, the date and time of your purchase, and the type, brand, and net weight of the product recorded in a registry by a store clerk. 

The law, which took effect on January 1, was passed in response to two 2010 incidents in which Chicago women were badly injured by assailants who threw drain cleaner on them. Stores that fail to comply risk fines of $150 for the first offense and up to $1,500 on repeat transgressions. The restrictions are similar to federal rules governing the sale of cold and allergy medications that contain the decongestant pseudoephedrine, a methamphetamine precursor. One local supermarket chain, Jewel-Osco, has responded to the rules by no longer selling affected drain cleaners.