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What Are the Penalties for Driving Under the Influence of Drugs in Illinois?

Though many are familiar with drunk driving, not as many people understand the severity of driving while under the influence of drugs. Similarly, many assume that because there is no roadside test like a breathalyzer that measures someone’s Blood Alcohol Concentration, facing drugged driving charges is impossible. However, this is far from the case. In reality, drugged driving charges are much more common than people believe. It’s essential to familiarize yourself with the laws surrounding this matter. Keep reading to learn what you must know about these charges and how a Peoria DUI lawyer can assist you.

How Can Drugs Impact the Ability to Drive?

When someone is under the influence of drugs, much like alcohol, it can severely impact their ability to operate a vehicle. This is because anytime someone consumes a substance, whether it be drugs or alcohol, that inhibits the brain’s communication with the rest of the body, it makes driving incredibly dangerous. Additionally, the effects will vary based on the type of substance consumed. For example, marijuana slows reaction time and can inhibit coordination, while cocaine can increase reckless behavior like speeding or aggressive driving. It’s also important to note this becomes even more dangerous when various substances are mixed.

It is also essential to note that the drug does not need to be illegal for it to impact a driver. Many people are charged with driving under the influence while taking over-the-counter or prescription medication. Just because it is not illegal doesn’t mean it can’t inhibit your ability to drive. However, this is an affirmative defense, meaning it can help you avoid criminal charges.

What Can I Expect if Charged With Driving Under the Influence of Drugs?

If pulled over for driving under the influence of drugs, it’s necessary to understand that you will be charged with a DUI. This is because Illinois law states that any driver with drugs, alcohol, or a combination of both is guilty of driving under the influence. Additionally, you will likely need to submit a chemical test, meaning a blood or urine sample, to determine the amount of drugs in your system. Failure to submit to testing, under Illinois’ implied consent laws, will result in a one-year suspension of your license.

Additionally, the penalties for a first-offense DUI are a Class A misdemeanor, the potential for one year in prison, a fine of up to $2,500, and a license suspension for one year. This suspension can be lowered with the installation of an ignition interlock device.

Facing a charge for driving under the influence of drugs can have severe impacts on your life. As such, it is critical to ensure you connect with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to discuss the details of your circumstances. You should not try to go through this alone. At Giraudo Law, our team will fight for you every step along the way. Contact us today to learn how we can assist you during these challenging times.

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