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Rolling Meadows, IL criminal defense attorney marijuana DUI

As of January 1, 2020, Illinois became the 11th state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in the United States. Even though residents and visitors who are 21 or older can legally purchase and consume cannabis, there are certain restrictions on the amount that can be bought and where it can be ingested. The increased presence of marijuana in the state has had some people wondering whether or not they can be charged with driving under the influence (DUI) if they are caught driving a vehicle while under the influence of cannabis. The short answer is yes.

Marijuana DUI Laws in Illinois

Under Illinois law, you can be charged with DUI if you operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, intoxicating compounds, methamphetamines, or “other drugs, including cannabis prescribed for medical purposes.” You are likely aware of the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit of .08, but there is also such a limit for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in your blood when you are driving a vehicle. In Illinois, a person is considered intoxicated if they are measured as having 5 nanograms or more of THC per milliliter of blood or 10 nanograms or more per milliliter of another bodily substance.

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Arlington Heights, IL DUI defense attorney

When you are pulled over because a police officer suspects that you are driving under the influence (DUI), you will probably be asked to take a breathalyzer test to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC). In Illinois, you are legally considered to be driving under the influence of alcohol if your BAC is 0.08 percent or above. What you may not know, however, is that you can still actually be arrested and charged with DUI even if your BAC is below the legal limit. The best way to avoid a DUI arrest and conviction is to understand your rights as a citizen of Illinois and avoid putting yourself into risky situations. If you have been arrested for DUI, a skilled criminal defense lawyer can be an invaluable asset.

Alcohol Use Under the Legal Limit

The legal limit anywhere in the United States to be considered intoxicated is 0.08 percent, but that does not mean that you cannot be charged with DUI if your BAC is below that. Illinois law states that a person may not drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle if his or her BAC is 0.08 or more OR if he or she is under the influence of alcohol. This open-ended law allows police officers to use their judgment and determine whether a person is incapable of safely operating a vehicle, regardless of his or her actual BAC.

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Posted on in DUI

Rolling Meadows, IL DUI lawyer

Being charged with a DUI is an extremely serious situation that can result in severe consequences. In the state of Illinois, DUI is considered to be a major offense and most judges and law enforcement officers do not sympathize with those accused of driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. DUI offenders are often punished to the fullest extent of the law, especially when the offender has a history of DUI. Even if you are a first-time DUI offender, you could face jail time, fines, and a driver’s license suspension for a conviction, but a knowledgeable Illinois DUI defense lawyer can help.

Common DUI Defense Strategies

There are numerous ways an attorney can defend you against a DUI charge. Through an initial consultation and subsequent investigation, your lawyer can determine the best course of action. Here are a few common defense strategies:

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Rolling Meadows, IL DUI Lawyer

For decades, various organizations in the United States have attempted to lower the number of DUI incidents and drunk driving deaths through a variety of methods. Despite many gains, fatalities continue. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 11,000 people died in alcohol-related traffic crashes nationwide in 2017. Because DUI deaths remain common, DUI laws have become more strict and judges have sentenced offenders harshly. 

One of the methods Illinois uses to deter DUI offenders from becoming repeat violators is by imposing driver’s license suspensions and revocations on those convicted of DUI. Still, many are given a chance to drive as needed to support themselves and their families.

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Posted on in DUI

Arlington Heights DUI Lawyer

According to the Illinois Secretary of State, there were 330 people killed in alcohol-related car crashes in Illinois last year. Those fatalities represented about 30 percent of the 1,090 people who were killed in all car crashes in the state in 2017. Because alcohol plays such a large role in traffic deaths, punishments are substantial.

Most who experience a DUI conviction have no idea just how much it costs, in addition to the loss of driving privileges. Here are eight hidden expenses that come with an Illinois DUI conviction:

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