Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana in Illinois

Updated on 01/13/2023 / Under

In Most states including the state of Illinois, if the authorities pull a driver over and find them driving with a BAC, blood alcohol concentration, or breath that is either .08 or higher the driver will face DUI charges. Even as this is the case, drivers that have consumed excess alcohol are not the only ones that are likely to face DUI charges. If a driver drives under the influence of drugs such as marijuana they are likely going to face DUI charges as well.

When it comes to determining if a driver is under the influence of alcohol it becomes really easy. This is because to determine if the driver is under the influence of alcohol they are given a blood or urine test or even a breath test. It is a bit more complicated when it comes to determining if a driver is operating a motor vehicle under the influence of marijuana or cannabis.

According to some experts, it is hard and almost impossible to prove that an individual has committed a Marijuana DUI in Illinois when the police pull them over.

What it Means to be Under the Influence

The meaning of being under the influence is depending on the state that you are in. If you are just coming into Illinois it would be great to have an understanding of the driving laws in Illinois as a new driver before you get behind the wheel.

You should understand that the drunk driving or DUI laws in Illinois are very strict.

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Even so, the laws can be a bit complicated since medicinal marijuana or medical marijuana is allowed in Illinois. Also, on 1st January 2020, Marijuana legalization for recreational purposes occurred.

Even if lawful consumption is allowed medical marijuana users are not allowed to drive under the influence of cannabis. Any individual driver driving with a THC level of 5 nanograms or higher per milliliter of blood concentration (THC per milliliter) can be charged with a DUI and sentenced if found guilty.

How a Cannabis DUI Arrest Occurs

When you are arrested for a Cannabis DUI in Illinois here is what will take place:

  • When the police suspects that a driver is driving while impaired they will pull him/her over and then administer field sobriety tests.
  • After the sobriety tests if the driver does not appear to be impaired the police will release them.
  • In the case where a law enforcement officer suspects that the driver is impaired they will arrest them.
  • If the authorities or arresting officer suspect that the individual is impaired as a result of cannabis based on weighing their smell or demeanor they will ask the driver to take a urine or blood test.
  • As a driver you can refuse to submit to the tests but as a result you will lose your license for a year if convicted.
  • In the case where a driver shows 5 nanograms or more of THC per ml in their blood test or 10 nanograms or higher of THC per ml of any other bodily substance they are likely to lose their driver’s license for a period of 6 months.

According to studies for an individual to reach those levels it will depend on the amount of cannabis they have taken and how they have consumed it. Also, it differs from one person to another.

The Illinois law enforcement officials do not conduct any tracking on the numbers of Marijuana-related DUI arrests. However, they have seen a rise in marijuana-impaired driving cases over time. Most of the cases involve impaired driving offenders that he thought were not truly impaired.

Learn More: How to Get Your License Back After a DUI

You can Get Charged for a DUI Without Getting High

You do not have to be high for you to be charged with a DUI. Even if you are not high you can still be arrested for a DUI. The reason is the THC metabolites that have been left in your blood after using marijuana.

A blood test will be able to detect your THC levels after 3 to 4 hours of consumption of cannabis. It is possible for the THC metabolites to be present in the body for several days after use.

What is unfortunate is that THC is seen as a marijuana-related compound. Most of the time after you are charged you will not be convicted of driving while you are high unless you exceed the legal limit if THC is allowed. However, in the case where you are using marijuana, it is necessary to understand the possibilities of getting arrested and convicted. It is highly possible for you to be charged with a DUI in Illinois in the case where you have used marijuana in the past few days even if you used it legally. Even though it is not what happens most of the time it can happen.

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What do You do if You are Charged With a DUI?

One of the best decisions that you can make is not to drive when you are high.  However, in the case where you are charged with a DUI one of the best moves to make is to contact a DUI attorney within your locality. The DUI attorney will advise you on the next move that you should make. The earlier you call the DUI attorney the better chances you have of your cases having a favorable outcome. Most lawyers do have phone numbers that can help you to easily reach them.

Regardless of whether you are facing a felony or a misdemeanor a DUI charge is quite serious. A DUI charge should be treated with lots seriousness as soon as the police pull you over or take you in. You should keep in mind that having a DUI on your record will lower your ability to get employment. Also, your insurance premium will be significantly higher than before. There is a social stigma that comes with being charged with a DUI that most people do not realize until later.

The best thing that you can do to beat a DUI is to contact an experienced attorney.

When you go into a consultation it is to determine if your firm is a great fit for the legal needs that you have. The firm also gets to analyze your case and give you the best strategies that you should use for your case. To get the best out of the consultation you should tell your lawyer everything about your case so they can come up with the best solutions. Most initial consultations are free. Even so, depending on your case and the location of the meeting you may be required to pay a small fee in some instances.

We know all about alcohol-impaired driving laws and we would like to help you. If you have been arrested and are being charged for driving under influence of cannabis give a DUI criminal defense lawyer a call and let us find solutions for your case.