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Can you be charged with a DUI for driving under the influence of marijuana in Illinois?

Posted on behalf of Donahue & Walsh, P.C. | October 1, 2020

Illinois Law Pertaining to Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana

National campaigns preaching against driving under the influence of alcohol are widespread. However, discussion about drug DUIs, which includes driving under the influence of marijuana, is not nearly as common. Medical and recreational use of marijuana remains legal in Illinois. However, driving under the influence of marijuana is illegal in Illinois, as well as the rest of the United States.

If your blood-alcohol content (BAC) is .08 or greater you will face a DUI charge in Illinois. However, what constitutes being “under the influence” of marijuana?

How much marijuana is legal to use before getting behind the wheel in Illinois?

According to Illinois law, a THC level at or exceeding 5 nanograms per milliliter of blood will result in a DUI charge. According to experts, individuals who are not frequent marijuana users should wait at least four hours for blood-THC to fall to a safe level, and 24 hours if you are taking the drug in higher doses. However, frequent marijuana users will most likely frequently be over the 5 nanogram THC limit. In order for their blood-THC level to drop down to a safe number, they would most likely have to wait a week, or even longer. This means these individuals could be charged with a DUI even if they ingested marijuana a week prior to being pulled over.

Can you still get a marijuana DUI if you hold a medical cannabis card in Illinois?

You are exempt from the 5 nanogram limit if you hold a medical cannabis card in Illinois. However, if you are driving in a manner that displays you are too intoxicated to safely drive, or if you fail field sobriety tests, your impairment can still result in an DUI charge even if you hold a medical cannabis card. Field sobriety tests utilized by law enforcement might include the horizontal gaze nystagmus, walk-and-turn or the one-legged stand.

Contact a DUI attorney

If you are facing a DUI charge in Northern Illinois, ensure that you speak with an experienced DUI defense attorney. Consequences of a DUI conviction might include revocation of your license, fines, probation and even jail time. Our unmatched experience allows us to defend our clients aggressively and find weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. We will help you to achieve the results you deserve.

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