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Can You Get Charged for Driving While High?

Published on May 19th, 2023

Driving is a necessity today. However, with marijuana legalized in Illinois, it’s difficult to know whether driving while consuming cannabis can get you in trouble. Find out more about driving under the influence of marijuana to avoid a DUI on the road.

Can You Get a DUI for Driving High?

The simple answer is yes: law enforcement can charge you with a DUI (driving under the influence) while you’re high. Even if you smoked hours ago, THC metabolites remain in your system and show a positive result on a drug test. Additionally, you are not allowed to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of medically prescribed marijuana.

Cannabis Driving Impairment Laws and DUIs

Two types of DUIs fall under Illinois’ cannabis driving impairment DUI laws: per se DUIs and impairment DUIs. Per se DUIs are based on the amount of THC in the driver’s body regardless of the effects on driving performance. A blood test would prove whether the amount ingested is over the legal limit.

Impairment DUIs show any substantial influence of drugs and how it affects your driving ability. Since marijuana affects users differently, evidential circumstances may include

  • Slurred speech
  • Delayed reaction time
  • Unusual behavior
  • Impaired driving performance
  • Impaired cognition
  • Increased crash risks
  • Poor field sobriety test performance

Impairment, and amount of ingested THC are the two main components to convicting someone for driving under the influence of marijuana.

Marijuana DUI Penalties

Marijuana DUI penalties differ per person depending on their legal and driving histories. However, if this is a first offense, a DUI usually results in

  • Suspended license between 90 days and one year
  • Fines ranging from $500 to $2,500
  • Substance abuse treatment
  • Probation

If this is a repeat offense, you may face more severe penalties, including steeper fines and jail time. Additionally, enhanced penalties apply for DUIs resulting in a motor vehicle crash, injury, or death. Marijuana-related DUI penalties have the same repercussions as alcohol-related DUIs in the United States.

Johnson & Goldrich Will Fight For You!

If you recently lost your license due to a marijuana-related DUI, call us at 312-795-1801. We’re licensed driver’s license reinstatement lawyers to fight on your behalf. We work with you no matter what types of hearings you face. Contact us today for a free consultation and to help you regain safe driving privileges.

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