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How Marijuana Affects Driving Performance

Posted on in DUI Drugs

Oak Brook DUI defense attorney, marijuana affects drivingMuch of what we do while on the road can be categorized as distracting—talking, texting, eating. These are just a few examples of everyday occurrences that keep us from driving at our best. Media outlets and printed articles distribute the impact of these distractions to a broad audience. However, one less discussed modifier is marijuana, perhaps because it is a controlled substance.

Although marijuana is not legal recreationally at this point in Illinois, there are bills in motion aiming to legalize the substance for consenting adults. Many have concerns over how this will affect DUI Marijuana charges. Yet how do drugs affect our driving performance?

Marijuana Effects On Driving

Marijuana contains THC, a chemical that enters the bloodstream immediately after inhalation. Shortly after, THC reaches the brain and other organs. The brain receives a significant impact, which then influences the coordination of hands and feet—the parts of the body used to drive your vehicle. According to the Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA), marijuana can affect concentration and perception of time and distance. Marijuana at a high enough level can:

  • Impair judgment;
  • Lengthen reaction time;
  • Inhibit speed control;
  • Blur vision;
  • Decrease coordination;
  • Cause distraction; and
  • Produce feelings of drowsiness.

How it Could Affect DUI Marijuana Charges

Illinois lawmakers have already made a transition from the zero tolerance DUI marijuana policy to a more sympathetic one. However, the current limit is 5 ng of THC per unit of whole blood, which is very close to zero. Consider that 15 ng is a comparable amount required to reach the impairment of alcohol at 0.08 BAC. Therefore, the current law is not ideal for recreational usage, but it is not zero. Many predict that this limit may shift, should the bill allowing recreational usage come to fruition. The law is ever changing, and therefore should be discussed with legal counsel.

Are You Facing DUI Marijuana Charges?

To date, impairment supersedes any results in breath, blood, or urine testing. Even if tested marijuana levels are less than the set constraints, if the arresting officer proves to the court beyond a reasonable doubt that marijuana caused impairment, a conviction may follow. Therefore, it is important to be sure you are up-to-date on current law and to hire an attorney as soon as possible who can build a credible defense for your situation.

If you would like to discuss your DUI case with an DuPage County DUI defense attorney, contact McMahon Law Offices today. We proudly offer you a free consultation when you call 630-953-4400.




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