Illinois is one of many states that have legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes. However, there are growing concerns when it comes to public safety, particularly surrounding the use of marijuana when driving. In fact, a study found that the number of car accidents involving drivers who were under the influence of marijuana actually doubled in Washington following the legalization of the substance for personal use in that state.
Another problem is that marijuana testing methods are not necessarily reliable. Whereas a person’s blood alcohol content can show how much alcohol is in the blood stream at any particular moment, marijuana affects different people in different ways. The levels of THC may vary person to person, and simply picking acceptable minimum levels of THC could result in the wrong people being charged with DUI. People who have metabolites in their blood or urine are not necessarily currently under the influence, as THC can hang around in the body well after use.
As a result, other testing systems are being developed. Several companies are racing to try and create a test that will determine if someone was driving while actually under the influence of the drug. One company stated that they it will have a device similar to a breathalyzer for sale after it has been tested.
Those who have been charged with impaired driving may potentially face serious consequences if they are convicted. However, there are instances where the testing methods were not carried out properly. In other cases, the initial traffic stop may have been made without the required reasonable suspicion on the part of law enforcement. These and other potential challenges can be more effectively made with the assistance of an attorney.