Illinois is one of a few states that includes drug use in its DUI laws. The statute itself explains its intention in the title, “Driving while under the influence of alcohol, other drug or drugs, intoxicating compound or compounds or any combination thereof.”
If you are a marijuana user in Illinois, whether medical or recreational, you will want to remain aware of the relevant laws for driving high.
Illinois law allows authorities to charge you with a DUI if your Blood Alcohol Concentration measures 0.08% or more. But they can also charge you anytime they have reason to believe that substances are significantly impairing your ability to drive. The statute includes prescription medications, particularly if you mix them with alcohol, illegal drugs in any amount whatsoever or any combination of these.
The Illinois statute explicitly addresses marijuana, saying that medical marijuana users may drive while high if they have their documentation available, but they are not exempt if its consumption is clearly or significantly impairing their driving. Illegal marijuana users cannot drive while high without breaking the law, and they may be subject to a DUI charge for any amount.
If police officers pull you over while you are driving high, do not tell them that you are high under any circumstances. Prosecuting DUIs for drug use is difficult and expensive as they must test you for a whole spectrum of substances. An officer may still arrest you for a DUI if he or she believes you are intoxicated and impaired, but you will have a better defense in court if you do not admit guilt in the encounter.
Agree to take a BAC test. Not only can this help your case in court later if it shows up as zero, but refusing will automatically suspend your driver’s license for a year or more.