Driving under the influence of cannabis is a serious offense with significant consequences in Illinois. Even though Illinois legalized recreational cannabis for adult use in January 2020, it is still illegal to operate a vehicle while under the influence of the drug. Being accused of driving under the influence of cannabis can result in severe legal penalties. If a police officer suspects a driver is impaired, they can conduct chemical testing to measure the level of THC (the psychoactive component of cannabis) in the driver’s blood. If the THC concentration exceeds the legal limit, the driver will be arrested and face serious consequences. If you have been charged with DUI, it is important to consult with an Illinois defense attorney.
Consequences of a Cannabis DUI Conviction
The legal limit for THC in the blood in Illinois is five nanograms per milliliter in whole blood and 10 nanograms per milliliter for THC metabolites in other bodily substances. If a driver’s THC level exceeds these limits, they can be charged with a DUI offense. A DUI conviction can result in fines, mandatory community service, probation, and potential imprisonment, depending on the severity of the offense and whether the driver has any prior DUI convictions.
Penalties for a first-time DUI offense in Illinois may include a suspension of your driver’s license for one year, along with a minimum $500 fine. If you are caught driving high with a child in the vehicle, you can face even stiffer penalties, including a six-month jail sentence and minimum $1,000 fine.
Subsequent offenses carry more severe consequences. A second DUI offense in Illinois can lead to the revocation of your driver’s license for a minimum of five years, increased fines, and mandatory attendance in a substance abuse treatment program. Additionally, a third DUI offense is considered a felony, which can result in imprisonment for up to seven years, as well as the loss of your driving privileges for ten years or more.
Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates that driving under the influence of marijuana increases the risk of a car accident. If a driver is under the influence of marijuana and causes a crash, they can be charged with aggravated DUI if the crash results in serious injury.
A conviction can also impact an individual’s employment opportunities and future prospects. Many employers conduct background checks, and a DUI conviction can raise concerns about a person’s judgment and responsibility, potentially leading to missed job opportunities or even termination from current employment.
Contact a DuPage County, IL Defense Lawyer
If you are arrested and charged with a driving under the influence of marijuana, you need a skilled Naperville, IL DUI defense attorney defending you and protecting your rights. Call [[title]] at [[phone]] to schedule free and confidential consultation.