Penalties for Driving Under The Influence Of Marijuana In Illinois

Driving, DUI

Marijuana DUI is a serious offense in Illinois and can have severe consequences. It is illegal to drive while high on any amount of marijuana, whether it was prescribed or not. This article will discuss the legal consequences and provide tips for staying safe on the roads.

We will also discuss how law enforcement officers identify drivers impaired by marijuana and how to protect yourself if you get accused of driving under the influence.

 The Common Defenses Used to Fight Cannabis DUIs

To fight a cannabis DUI charge, defendants may use various legal defenses to challenge the evidence and reduce the severity of their punishment. Common reasons include medical marijuana use defense, illegal search and seizure defense, entrapment defense, lack of probable cause defense, and more.

Understand the Legal Limits

Illinois has implemented strict blood tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration thresholds to serve as a boundary between legal and illegal. However, the state measures THC limit through blood tests, not impairment levels. If you’re over 21, you can have up to 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood. In contrast, those under 21 cannot have any detectable amount of THC in their bloodstream.

DUI Penalties for Marijuana use

Possessing cannabis weighing between 30 and 100 grams is classified as a Class A misdemeanor. Possession of cannabis weighing between 100 and 500 grams is a Class 4 felony while possessing 500 to 2000 grams is a Class 3 felony. Similarly, possession of 2000 to 5000 grams of cannabis is a Class 2 felony, and possession of 5000 grams or more is a Class 1 felony.

If you were previously charged with cannabis possession, the penalties for possessing 30-100 grams of cannabis could be more severe. For instance, a second or subsequent offense can result in a Class 4 felony charge.

A Class A misdemeanor can get you a fine of up to $2,500.00 and up to one year in jail. A Class 4 felony can lead to 1-3 years in prison, while a Class 3 felony carries 2-5 years. A Class 2 felony can result in 3-7 years in jail, and a Class 1 felony can lead to 4-15 years in prison. All felonies may result in fines of up to $25,000.00 and mandatory court assessments.

Under the Age of 21

If you are under 21, the penalties for possessing cannabis will get determined by the amount you have on you. If you own 10 grams or less of cannabis, it is considered a violation of civil law. Possessing 10-30 grams is a Class B misdemeanor, while 30-100 grams is a Class A misdemeanor.

Possession of 100-500 grams is a Class 4 felony, and 500-2000 grams is a Class 3 felony. Meanwhile, possessing 2000-5000 grams is a Class 2 felony, and anything over 5000 grams is a Class 1 felony. These penalties may increase if you have gotten previously charged with cannabis possession. Additionally, suppose you get caught with any amount of cannabis in a vehicle, and you’re under 21; the Illinois Secretary of State can suspend your driver’s license.

Legalization Does Not Imply Impunity

Although using marijuana is legal for recreational purposes in Illinois, it is crucial to remember that impaired driving is still illegal. Law enforcement agencies employ various methods to identify impaired drivers, including field sobriety tests, blood tests, and drug recognition evaluations.

Our attorneys at FKMA Law have extensive experience in dealing with cases related to marijuana possession or sale. We are well-versed in the courthouse procedures down to the local Clerks of the Court.

Contact Franks, Kelly, Matuszewich, and Andrle Attorneys at Law for help with your case today.