In January 2020, the recreational marijuana law in Illinois took effect. Adults who are at least 21 years of age are allowed to possess up to 30 grams of cannabis and legally carry pot in their vehicles.
Although possession and use of marijuana will not result in criminal charges in Illinois, being under the influence while driving a car can still lead to a DUI. Even if you are a medical marijuana patient, just like prescription pills, you cannot operate a vehicle while intoxicated by legal controlled substances. In addition, it is against the law to drive with an “open container” of cannabis in the vehicle, just like an alcoholic beverage.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that is responsible for giving users a “high.” This intoxicating effect can impact a person’s movements, reflexes, coordination, concentration, memory, perception of time, which can hinder someone’s ability to drive safely or react to road conditions.
You can be charged with a DUI if you have a THC blood concentration of at least five (5) nanograms per milliliter of blood or at least ten (10) grams per milliliter of any other bodily substance. Keep in mind, medical marijuana patients are exempt from the five-nanogram limit.
While recent testing devices for cannabis have proven unreliable, the police can obtain probable cause through circumstantial evidence. Common examples include the odor of marijuana coming from the car, red eyes, slurred words, delayed responses, slow movements, and other types of evidence of intoxication.
If you or a loved one has been charged with drugged driving in Chicago, contact the Law Office of Steven Fine at (312) 436-0638 and schedule a free initial consultation. Attorney Fine has been named one of the Best DUI Lawyers in Chicago in 2020 by Expertise.