marijuana joint

Can I Be Charged With a DUI for Driving High in Illinois?

There are many common misconceptions surrounding DUI charges. For example, many believe this isn’t a “serious” charge and assume they will walk away with a slap on the wrist if caught. Additionally, others believe a DUI only applies to drivers who have consumed alcohol. As such, many are shocked when they are charged with this offense after driving high. If this reflects your circumstances, it’s imperative to keep reading to learn how a Peoria DUI lawyer can help you navigate this charge.

What Warrants a DUI?

In most instances, many are aware that the legal limit for Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is 0.08%. As such, anyone who has a BAC at or over that limit is automatically charged with a DUI. Additionally, someone with any amount of alcohol in their system can face a DUI charge if the officer conducting the stop believes the alcohol impacts their ability to operate a vehicle.

However, many do not realize that they can be charged with a DUI if they are under the influence of drugs like marijuana. Recently legalized for recreational use in Illinois, this drug can inhibit the driving capabilities of users. As such, laws have changed to determine the legal amount of THC a driver can have in their system. In Illinois, this is five nanograms of THC in your blood or ten nanograms in any other bodily fluid (saliva or urine).

How Are Tests Preformed on Those Believed to be Driving High?

Like an alcohol-related DUI, an officer can ask you to perform a field sobriety test or submit to chemical testing to determine the amount of THC in your system. Generally, the field sobriety test will test your ability to follow directions, balance, and your eye gaze. It’s important to understand that in Illinois, you do not have to consent to a field sobriety test. This is because these tests are often flawed and can skew your results.

Chemical testing, on the other hand, is required. If you do not take a chemical test, your license will automatically be suspended. This is because Illinois has implied consent laws. Essentially, this means that by having a driver’s license and operating a vehicle, you automatically consent to submit to a chemical test if requested by an officer. As such, you may have to submit to a blood draw, provide a urine sample, or give a saliva swab so the officer can determine if you are high. It is also critical to note that even if you are not actually experiencing a high, you can be charged with a DUI because the THC can remain in your system for a few hours after you’ve ingested it.

As such, it’s critical to connect with an experienced DUI attorney from Giraudo Law if you have been charged for driving high. Our team understands the confusion surrounding these charges, so we can walk you through the legal process to help you fight for the best possible outcome. Connect with us today to learn how we can guide you through these challenging times.

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