New Illinois Law Brings Common Sense Approach To DUI And Pot
This is not about real estate. However, some of you (wink, wink, no judgment here) should be aware of an important change in the DUI laws, which provides a more common sense approach to the issue of pot use and driving.
Until Governor Rauner signed SB 2228 into law last week, pot smokers were at risk of a DUI conviction unless all traces of THC (the intoxicating compound in pot) had left the system. Although the intoxicating effects of pot last a few hours at most, it can take weeks for all of the THC to flush from the system. This unreasonable standard resulted in many unneccasary arrests and convictions, often putting otherwise good people in jail and unnecessarily ruining lives.
The case of Alia Bernard is a prime example of the absurd results produced by the old law. People v. Bernard, 2014 IL App (2d) 130924. In 2009, Bernard was involved in a fatal car accident, which occured when she rear ended a vehicle while fishing around the car for her sunglasses. Two days prior to the accident, she had used marijuana. Although the proscutors freely admitted that Bernard’s use of pot played absolutely no role in the accident, they charged Bernard with reckless homicide and aggravated DUI, based solely on the trace amount of THC detected in her blood after the accident. Facing an unwinable case under the old law, Bernard entered a guilty plea to the aggravated DUI charge. The judge threw the book at Bernard, sentencing her to seven years in jail. But for the trace amounts of THC in her blood, the worst she could have received was a traffic ticket. The old law made so little sense that had the driver of the car that Bernard rear ended been found with any THC in his/her blood, they would also have been charged with DUI!
The new law provides a new standard whereby a person can have up to five nanograms of THC in their blood, or ten nanograms in their saliva, before they can be charged with DUI. As unpopular as it is, and should be, to relax DUI laws, the new law provides a more common sense approach. Let me be clear, no one shoud be driving around whilst stoned. However, once the concentration of THC in your blood is less than five nanograms, there is no longer any intoxication present. No one should be convicted of DUI when they are not driving impaired.
So, for those of you who like to occassionally puff, please, for the love of God, do not drive stoned. However, once you come down, feel free to go pick up the kids without the fear of going to prison for seven years after someone t-bones you after they run a red light.
For more, please take a look at the article from the Chicago Reader linked below.
The state’s new marijuana law sets a benchmark for driving under the influence of weed, but attorneys say it’ll be hard to enforce.