State lawmakers across the country are looking to policies on drunk driving for cues on how to legislate against driving while high on marijuana. However, this is akin to comparing oranges to apples as drunkenness correlates to alcohol in the bloodstream whereas cannabis impairment takes place only when THC makes its way into the fatty tissue of the brain. To complicate things, regular marijuana users often show no signs of impairment after using the drug and THC can stay in the blood for hours, days and even weeks after its effects wear off.
Currently, six states legally assess impairment from marijuana by measuring how much THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) is in a person’s blood, a practice which is not supported by the science community. In fact, according to the AAA’s director of traffic safety advocacy and research, there is no concentration of the drug that can reliably predict when someone is impaired behind the wheel in the way that can be determined with alcohol.
Ten states including Illinois have laws imposing zero tolerance per se thresholds for those that operate a motor vehicle with detectable levels of cannabinoids in the blood. Any driver with detectable amounts of cannabinoids in their system can be charged with DWI/DUI. However, as recently as March of this year, Illinois lawmakers were considering a bill that would set a limit at which someone can be prosecuted for drugged driving to 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood.
If you have been charged with Illinois DUI/DWI, contact the Law Offices of Ronald L. Bell for help. Drawing from his considerable experience in this area of law. Ron offers compelling arguments before the courts that often result in favorable outcomes (reduction of DUI penalties) for clients.