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Medical Marijuana User Charged with a DUI – What Can You Expect?

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Illinois DUI defense lawyerAlthough medical marijuana use is permitted in the state of Illinois, individuals who are registered patients may be at constant risk for a DUI. Furthermore, medical marijuana users may experience other charges along with their DUI. Learn more about the state’s legal marijuana limits, potential consequences of a DUI conviction, and how an experienced attorney can help protect your rights.

Illinois’ Marijuana DUI Limits

Prior to 2016, Illinois did not have a specific marijuana limit for drivers. Instead, they had a zero-tolerance policy. Unfortunately, this set many medical users up for DUIs, regardless of their sobriety status at the time of being arrested. After 2016, the law provided a provision in which users could avoid a DUI, provided their blood THC content was less than five nanograms and/or saliva was under 10 nanograms. In addition, marijuana users may be subject to additional charges if they were in an accident or had an open container in their vehicle at the time of arrest.

Why the Limits Are Problematic for Medical Users

One would think that a legal limit would be based on something tangible – studies, field tests, or some other form of proof. However, this is not the case. In fact, a study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that THC content in a person’s saliva or blood may not have anything to do with the individual’s level of intoxication.

You see, cannabis is not metabolized by the body in the same way as alcohol. Instead, each person metabolizes it in their own way. For example, some medical users may have consistently high levels, even when they are not intoxicated but others may have a significant drop in their THC levels that do not register above the limit, despite being impaired. Sadly, the one not intoxicated could be the one charged with a DUI.

Potential Consequences of a DUI in Illinois

If a medical user is pulled over and suspected of being intoxicated, they may be asked to take a field sobriety test, as well as a chemical test. If either indicates impairment, the driver may then be faced with a DUI charge. Even on the first offense, such charges can result in a suspension of the driver’s license and registration. Individuals may also be subject to fines, court costs, and other related fees. Worst of all, they may lose their medical marijuana card, which could result in a loss of vital medication. As such, it is crucial that all medical users facing charges contact an experienced defense attorney.

Schedule a Free Consult with Our Arlington Heights DUI Defense Attorney

If you or someone you love is facing charges as a medical marijuana user, contact Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law. Dedicated to your best interest and backed by more than 25 years of criminal law experience, our Arlington Heights DUI defense attorney will fight for the most favorable outcome possible. Learn more by scheduling a personalized consultation. Call 847-253-3400 today.

Sources:

https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/dsd_a118.pdf

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-marijuana-driving-study-aaa-20160509-story.html

https://www.chicagoreader.com/Bleader/archives/2016/08/02/new-illinois-law-defines-stoned-driving

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