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What Constitutes a DUI in Illinois?

DuPage County DUI defense lawyerWhen people think about “driving under the influence,” their thoughts usually turn to drinking and driving. However, there are other types of intoxication that fall under the DUI umbrella. In fact, any drug use, including medicinal marijuana and certain prescribed drugs, can constitute a DUI. The following information can help you better understand the laws as they pertain to driving under the influence in Illinois.

Alcohol Intoxication

Alcohol intoxication while driving is the most prevalent and well-known DUI. It is also the easiest type of intoxication to detect. From the first drink, alcohol starts to affect a person’s coordination, judgement, and reaction time. By the time you reach the legal limit (0.08 in Illinois), your vision is also often impaired. At this point, you are also 11 times more likely to be killed in a single driver crash than a sober driver. Time is the only way to ensure you do not exceed the legal limit. On average, it is about an hour per drink. However, the metabolism of the person, the type of drink consumed, gender, and other factors may increase this time limit.

Marijuana Intoxication

While the state of Illinois does permit the use of medicinal marijuana for those with a prescription, it is still illegal to drive while under its influence. It is also illegal to transport medicinal marijuana, unless it is sealed in a tamper-evident container and inaccessible to you while you are driving. Testing for intoxication is more difficult, however, because there is no reliable roadside test. This means, if an officer suspects you are under the influence, they will use a field sobriety test. Refusal to submit and/or reasonable suspicion during that test can lead to consequences, including the suspension of your license. You may also be asked to submit to a lab test, which does not detect if you were intoxicated at the time. It only determines if you have THC in your system, which stays in the body much longer than other substances.

Prescription Drugs Unsafe for Driving

There are certain prescription drugs that should not be used prior to driving. Suspicion of being under the influence of any one of them – even those that were legally prescribed to you – can lead to an officer asking you to submit to a field sobriety test. Refusal to submit and/or reasonable suspicion during the sobriety test could have legal consequences, including being charged with a DUI and eventual suspension of your driver’s license. Those who are suspected of using prescription drugs without a valid prescription may also face additional drug charges, which can increase your fines and penalties.

Other Illicit Substances

Methamphetamines, heroin, cocaine, and other illicit substances are illegal to use, in general. Suspicion of being under the influence of any of these substances can lead to a field sobriety test, lab testing for proof of the substance in your system, and DUI charges, which could lead to the suspension of your license and other DUI consequences. If you are alleged to have paraphernalia or any of the substance on your person or in your vehicle, you could face additional drug charges on top of your DUI.

Charged with a DUI? Fight Back with Aggressive Criminal Defense

Driving under the influence is unsafe and puts lives at risk. However, not everyone who is charged with a DUI was actually under the influence at the time. Furthermore, there are those who did drive under the influence – possibly by mistake, such as thinking they were safe to drive or forgetting they took their prescription drug before driving – and never actually meant to do so. Whatever the situation, you do not have to let a DUI affect the rest of your life. Instead, get help from an aggressive defense attorney.

Stephen A. Brundage, Attorney at Law, has more than 25 years of experience in fighting for those who have been charged with a DUI in Illinois. Skilled and experienced, our DuPage County criminal defense lawyer will carefully examine your case and search for the most viable defense for your situation. Get the representation you need and deserve. Call 630-260-9647 today.

Source:

https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/dsd_a118.pdf

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