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Arlington Heights, IL 60005

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Arlington Heights Marijuana DUI Attorney

Palatine Criminal Defense Lawyer for Drugged Driving

In recent years, lawmakers around the country, including here in Illinois, have renewed their efforts in the battle against impaired driving. In an average year, thousands of drivers are arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in Illinois. A DUI charge is always serious and carries substantial criminal penalties. It is important to understand, however, that DUI charges can also apply in situations where a driver has not consumed even a drop of alcohol. A driver who operates a vehicle on the streets or highways of Illinois while under the influence of any substance—including marijuana—could be charged with DUI. At Cosley Law Office, we understand the complexities of drugged driving cases, and if you are facing charges, we are equipped to help you protect your future.

Medical Cannabis and DUI in Illinois

Illinois lawmakers first created the state's medical cannabis program in 2014, giving patients with qualifying medical conditions the opportunity to legally obtain and use marijuana. Along with the medical cannabis program, state legislators also established a guideline for measuring statutory impairment for drivers suspected of being under the influence of marijuana. According to these guidelines, a registered medical cannabis user could face charges for DUI marijuana if the concentration of THC—the psychoactive component of cannabis—in the driver's system is five or more nanograms of THC per milliliter of whole blood or ten or more nanograms of THC per milliliter of any other bodily substance, such as urine or saliva. This standard is meant to be similar to the 0.08 blood-alcohol content (BAC) for drunk driving charges.

A DUI charge related to marijuana is handled the same as a "regular" DUI charge, which means that a first offense is usually a Class A misdemeanor. If the driver is convicted, he or she faces up to one year in jail and fines of $2,500. The offender's driver's license will also be revoked for at least one year.

Recreational Use of Marijuana

As of January 1, 2020, the recreational use of marijuana for adults is legal under Illinois law, thanks to legislation that was passed in mid-2019. The legislation also included a directive for the Illinois State Police to set up a DUI Cannabis Task Force to study best practices and to make recommendations about how to combat the issue of driving under the influence of cannabis in the state.

In the meantime, recreational cannabis users over the age of 21 are subject to the THC concentration standard in place for approved medical cannabis users. An arrest is also possible based on other signs of impairment as well—including slurred speech, confusion, and delayed physical reactions. For those under the age of 21, police will continue to enforce a zero-tolerance policy, which means that any trace of marijuana in a driver's system could lead to an arrest and conviction for DUI.

With so many variables in play regarding the prosecution of driving under the influence of marijuana, it is important to have an experienced advocate on your side. The team at Cosley Law Office has the knowledge and resources to help you defend against cannabis-related DUI charges. We will assist you in understanding your available options and work to find a resolution that protects your rights and your future.

Contact a Barrington Marijuana DUI Defense Lawyer

If you or someone you love has been charged with driving under the influence of marijuana in Illinois, contact our office. Call 847-253-3100 to schedule a free consultation and case review today. Our firm serves clients in Arlington Heights, Rolling Meadows, Schaumburg, Cook County, and the rest of Northern Illinois.

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