Being pulled over by the police after having a few hits is not the time to try and remember what your high school chemistry teacher said about units of measurement. By the time you figure out how much five nanograms of TCH is it could be all over. In the state of Illinois, five is the magic number that is all it takes to be charged with driving under the influence.

Tardy to the party

Illinois was a little late jumping on the medical marijuana bandwagon. Nineteen other states plus the District of Columbia were among the first to legalize the use of cannabis and slowly but surely in 2013, the Land of Lincoln followed suit. If you think reaching for your medical marijuana card will get you off the hook for that DUI, think again.

Not a get out of jail free card

Even if a driver is legally entitled to use the drug or other intoxicating substances, that does not constitute a valid excuse in the eyes of the law. It is important to note that actual impairment at the time of the incident is not a factor when it comes to this offense. Up to one month after last ingesting cannabis a person can be charged with driving while intoxicated.

Penalties for puff, puff, passing and driving

Driving down the highway looking like you are riding with Cheech and Chong is sure to draw the attention of law enforcement. Should you get pulled over for suspicion of driving while high the penalties you could face will probably make you wish you waited to get home before lighting up. For first time offenders the consequences include a temporary loss of license, a fine of $2,500 and possible imprisonment. If there is a second offense, you can kiss your driver’s license goodbye for a minimum of five years. Incident number three and above will get you a class 4 felony, three years in the slammer and $10,000 in fines.