Drunk driving laws have been on the books for a long time, and researchers have developed straightforward ways to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC). Over time, lawmakers have adjusted the rules for “how much is too much” to be able to drive safely.
Now that Illinois has legalized recreational marijuana, there are new questions about what constitutes a DUI with regard to marijuana. While there are still challenges with determining the impact of tetrahydrocannabinol (cannabis) concentration (THC) on driving, there are some guidelines for measuring whether you are too high to drive.
Here’s what you should know about the rules for deciding if you are under the influence of marijuana and the charges you could face for a marijuana DUI.
A method for measuring
One of the challenges with measuring THC concentration is that cannabis can stay in your system longer than alcohol. However, in Illinois, driving laws state that you may be considered legally under the influence if you have more than five nanograms per milliliter of whole blood or more than 10 nanograms per milliliter of another bodily substance.
Driving while impaired (DUI) charges could result in loss of driving privileges or a loss of your driver’s medical cannabis card.
Possession of marijuana while driving
In addition to being aware of how much marijuana you consume before driving, you should also use care when transporting marijuana. Whether you use marijuana recreationally or medicinally, there are specific rules for having marijuana in your vehicle.
When traveling with marijuana, it must be in a sealed, odor-proof and child-resistant container. Neither you nor your passengers may consume marijuana while you are driving.
Dealing with a DUI stop
If an officer suspects that you are under the influence of marijuana, they will likely ask you to perform a field sobriety test and submit to chemical testing. In Illinois, if you refuse to submit to testing, you could face suspension of your driver’s license.
Facing DUI charges can come with serious long-term consequences. It is essential to talk to a skilled professional about your situation.