Marijuana DUI in Illinois
Earlier this year, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner made considerable alterations to the legal world with regards to marijuana. Not only did this move decriminalize possession of small amounts of the drug, but it also redefined the terms of DUI of marijuana. Now, DUI charges are applicable only after finding a certain amount of THC in your body through testing. Another advancement has come into play to assist officers in determining who is high, the marijuana breathalyzer. This technology may alter the legal process once again.
The topic of marijuana has always been an incredibly heated debate. It was a monumentally progressive advancement for our state to become the 17th in the United States to decriminalize possession of small amounts of pot. Now, instead of a criminal record, for quantities of less than ten grams of marijuana, officers issue a citation and a fine. This step significantly frees up officers and the legal process, as well as allows these individuals to obtain employment still and pursue higher education. Additionally, the terms of DUI marijuana changed. The charge only applies if:
- Five or more nanograms of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)--the high-inducing component in marijuana--are found in the driver’s blood, or
- 10 or more nanograms of THC are present in their saliva.
To date, there is no scientifically sound method for measuring marijuana and its effects on a person. The current approach is to draw a blood sample from the driver after arrest to determine the amount of THC in the bloodstream. Flaws are numerous and disputable, leaving a need for technology to assist officers identifying impairment of drivers. In a new attempt on September 14th, California introduced and tested a marijuana-detecting breathalyzer. There are currently two companies working on this technology. However, only one lab has initialized testing. Similarly to an alcohol breathalyzer, the driver would blow into the machine. The machine has a one-time use cartridge inside that detects and measures any THC on the breath. So far, no arrests have been made as it is all in tests but it was able to correctly identify those who had smoked within the last half hour as well as those who consumed edible marijuana products. The earliest this is expected to be widely released is six months from now and will also include alcohol detecting measures.
If you have been arrested for DUI marijuana, there are several defenses available, depending on your circumstances. Although it will be a while before the breathalyzers hit the market here in Illinois, the current saliva swabs and blood testing consistently contains inaccuracies. If you are interested in discussing your options with a proven Addison, IL DUI defense attorney, contact Stringini & Garvey, P.C. today at 630-834-9595 to set up your complimentary initial consultation. We proudly serve clients in Maywood, Glendale Heights, Lombard, Bloomingdale, and all surrounding Chicagoland areas with 24-hour availability.