Driving under the influence of alcohol is the first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions a DUI charge. However, there are other substances besides alcohol that may result in a DUI traffic stop if you drive after you have consumed. In the state of Illinois, it is illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, other drugs, or any combination of these. Yet, the new Medical Cannabis Act may change everything with regards to DUI.
The Law before the Change
The state of Illinois has, rather used to have, one of the strictest policies when it came to driving while under the influence of marijuana. Before all of the medicinal marijuana law changes, many states adopted a per se law for marijuana, similar to the blood alcohol concentration measurements. With alcohol, in order to be charged and potentially convicted of a DUI, the blood alcohol concentration in an individual’s system must be at 0.08 percent or higher. In regards to marijuana, several states chose their own levels of impairment. In Washington, it was five nanograms per milliliter (5 ng/mL). In other states such as Ohio and Nevada, their limit was two ng/mL. Still, Illinois had a zero tolerance for marijuana. If any marijuana was found in your system, be it through a blood or urine sample, you would be charged with a DUI. This was referred to as a “trace law”.