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Illinois defense lawyerThe effect of alcohol consumption on the ability to drive safely has been studied intensely for over 60 years. Scientists have developed tests of blood alcohol concentration (BAC), including breathalyzers and blood tests, that are accurate enough to be fully accepted by American courts. Scientific studies have proven that alcohol impairment begins with the first drink; that the higher a person’s BAC level is, the more impaired their driving is; and that .08 is a level at which driving is so impaired as to pose a significant danger to public safety.

But when it comes to marijuana, such conclusive research does not yet exist. Yes, the level of THC, marijuana’s main psychoactive component, in the blood can be measured. But, different from alcohol, THC can be present in the blood long after its psychoactive effect has worn off. There is currently no test that can differentiate “active” THC that would impair driving from “inactive” THC that would not. Nor is there clear and convincing research showing what level of THC results in impaired driving, or widespread agreement on what the legal limit should be.

So how can Illinois arrest, much less convict, people of driving under the influence of marijuana?

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Illinois DUI lawyerHaving a fun night out with family and friends is a good way to spend any day. Unfortunately, there are many situations when that same fun night may end up in one behind bars. Nobody wants to go to jail for something they could have easily prevented, such as getting behind the wheel after drinking or using medical marijuana. However, there is a huge difference between driving after drinking alcohol and driving after using medical marijuana.

What Are the Legal Blood Limits for Alcohol?

When a driver is caught drinking and driving, he or she will most likely go through a breathalyzer test to determine how much alcohol is in the blood. The blood alcohol content (BAC) is based on the percentage of alcohol in the person’s bloodstream. The legal blood alcohol content is 0.08, but anyone with a BAC of 0.05 and 0.08 may be convicted of a DUI if there is further evidence shown that the driver was greatly impaired while behind the wheel.

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Illinois DUI defense lawyerMarijuana was recently legalized for medicinal purposes, which has brought much controversial debate to society. However, even though marijuana can be used for medicinal purposes, the use of the product can still impair a person’s ability to drive. The person using medical marijuana for any given ailment should be aware of the limitations on his or her driving abilities, and should also take precaution on when to drive and consume medical marijuana.

Special Requirements for Authorized Medicinal Marijuana Users

In Illinois, individuals are allowed to use marijuana for medicinal purposes but must be registered with the Illinois Department of Public Health. Authorized individuals must also obtain a written certification from an Illinois licensed medical doctor. Once the individual is successfully registered with the IDPH, then he or she will receive a registry ID card with a notation on his or her driving record. Law enforcement will be able to review such information.

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