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IL DUI attorneyWhile we have seen national campaigns designed to combat driving under the influence of alcohol for decades, the concept of drug DUIs is fairly new in the public consciousness. Since the legalization of medical marijuana and recreational cannabis in a growing number of states, law enforcement has been forced to adjust.

That includes in Illinois, where medical cannabis was legalized in 2013. There are now approximately 40,000 medicinal users registered through the Illinois Department of Public Health, in addition to thousands of unregistered recreational users throughout the state. Like alcohol, there are strict rules in place to limit the frequency of marijuana DUI.

Cannabis DUI in Illinois

Illinois law states medical marijuana users may not drive under the influence of cannabis, and they must transport it in a sealed container that is not accessible while the automobile is moving. If a licensed patient or any citizen is pulled over, and the officer believes the driver is impaired by cannabis, they must submit to field sobriety testing. Refusal or test failure results in a driver’s license suspension and possible revocation of their medical marijuana card.

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Illinois drug attorneyEvery year, around 10,000 people in the United States are killed in car accidents involving a driver who was under the influence of alcohol. In recent decades, law enforcement agencies have increased their efforts to combat drunk driving, and they are now looking to enforce laws against driving while under the influence of illegal drugs.

In 2015, the number of drivers who tested positive for drugs after being involved in a fatal accident was greater than the number of drivers who tested positive for alcohol. As more states legalize marijuana, and more people across the country abuse prescription drugs, opioids, and methamphetamine, police are looking to implement new tests that will allow them to make DUI arrests when drivers are under the influence of drugs.

Testing for Drugs

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Chicago DUI defense attorneyWhen you are pulled over for the suspicion of driving under the influence, you have the right to refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test if you wish to do so. There are, however, consequences to this option, just as there are consequences to submitting to the test if you have in fact been consuming alcohol. If you are conflicted as to whether to submit or not, it is helpful to familiarize yourself the penalties associated with both options before you make your decision.

Standard DUI Penalties in the State of Illinois

For starters, if you decide to submit to a breathalyzer test and are found to be over the legal limit, your driving privileges will be automatically suspended for six months for your first offense. The suspension doubles to one year for a second or subsequent test failure. The suspension applies regardless of whether prosecutors push for a conviction on DUI charges. If you are convicted of DUI, you are looking at a combination of the following:

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