Understanding DUIs and Legal Cannabis Use in Illinois


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Understanding DUIs and Legal Cannabis Use in Illinois

by | Jun 5, 2023 | Firm News

As the wave of cannabis legalization continues to sweep across the United States, Illinois joined the growing list of states allowing the recreational use of marijuana in 2020. While the legalization has made it possible for adults over the age of 21 to possess and use cannabis legally, it has also raised numerous questions related to driving under the influence (DUI) of cannabis.

Cannabis Possession Limits in Illinois

Under Illinois law, residents 21 years of age or older can legally possess up to 30 grams of cannabis flower, cannabis-infused products containing no more than 500mg of THC, and 5 grams of cannabis concentrate. Non-residents visiting Illinois are allowed to possess half of these amounts. (410 ILCS 705/10-10)

Possession of Cannabis in a Motor Vehicle

Under Illinois law, no driver may possess cannabis within any area of any motor vehicle unless it is in a secured, sealed or resealable, odor-proof, child-resistant cannabis container that is inaccessible. (625 ILCS 5/11-502.15)

Driving Under the Influence of Cannabis

While it’s legal to possess and use cannabis in Illinois, it’s important to note that it’s illegal to drive under the influence of cannabis, just as it is with alcohol. The Illinois Vehicle Code states that a person shall not drive or be in actual physical control of any vehicle within the state while under the influence of cannabis.

Measuring Impairment

Determining cannabis impairment is more complex than measuring alcohol impairment. With alcohol, there is a clear, nationally recognized limit – a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08%. However, for cannabis, the science is less clear. THC, the psychoactive compound in cannabis, affects people differently and can remain in the bloodstream for days or even weeks or months after consumption.

In Illinois, a driver is considered impaired if they have a THC blood concentration of 5 nanograms or more per milliliter of blood within two hours of consumption or use. (625 ILCS 5/11-501.2)

Consequences of a Cannabis DUI

If you are charged with a DUI related to cannabis use, the penalties can be severe. Penalties vary depending on the circumstances and whether it’s a first or subsequent offense, but they may include fines, loss of driving privileges, and even jail time. As with any DUI, a cannabis-type DUI is a serious charge that requires a strong legal defense.

Stay Safe and Legal

As the laws surrounding cannabis use continue to evolve, it’s important to stay informed about your rights and responsibilities. Always prioritize safety and never drive under the influence of cannabis or any other substance that impairs your ability to drive.

If you’ve been charged with a cannabis-related DUI in Illinois, it’s crucial to seek legal help immediately. The attorneys at Shifrin Law Group are here to help you navigate the complexities of these charges and work to protect your interests and defend your freedom. If you’ve been charged with a cannabis-related DUI in Illinois, call Shifrin Law Group today.

[1] This blog post was built with ChatGPT AI technology in conjunction with review and edits from a licensed attorney.