Facing a drunk driving charge can bring serious legal penalties against an Illinois driver. It can result in expensive fines, loss of driving privileges and even the potential for time behind bars. A person who is facing charges of drugged driving will also face the same penalties, but the way law enforcement can enforce this and test for drugs is still a little murky.
At the beginning of this year, new laws went into effect in Illinois regarding having marijuana in a vehicle. However, it is still illegal for drivers to operate a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana. Tests that measure the amount of THC in a driver’s system are still not completely accurate, and there is no single, standard, reliable way to test at a roadside traffic stop.
Handling drugged driving
According to new laws, drivers are able to have marijuana in their vehicles, but they cannot consume it while driving. It is also illegal for a passenger to smoke marijuana while in the vehicle. When transporting marijuana, it must be inside a specific type of child-proof container. If a law enforcement officer pulls a driver over, things such as slow response time, red eyes and drowsiness could indicate drugged driving, and the officer may then ask the driver to submit to certain sobriety tests.
If the driver does not perform well during the tests, the officer will arrest the driver and take him or her to the police station. At that point, there will be a chemical test to determine the amount of THC in his or her system. If there is a specific amount of THC in the system, it will lead to criminal charges and a revocation of the driver’s license.
The problem with testing
THC can remain in a driver’s system for days or weeks, making it difficult to accurately test whether a driver is legally impaired at that moment. If a driver is facing charges involving drugged driving, it may be prudent to challenge the results of any THC test administered.
Facing a criminal charge of driving while impaired is serious. Whether it’s a first offense or not, it is prudent for any driver to work quickly to secure the legal guidance necessary to effectively confront these charges and fight back against the potential of life-altering consequences.