As states throughout the country continue to decriminalize the use of marijuana, the laws regarding the operation of vehicles after ingesting marijuana continue to change as well. The changes in the law can drastically affect how marijuana-related DUI charges are prosecuted, as shown in a recent case arising out of an Illinois Appellate Court. If you are a resident of Illinois and are charged with a DUI arising out of your use of marijuana it is crucial to engage a proficient Illinois DUI attorney with experience handling marijuana-related DUI charges to help you set forth a defense.
Facts of the Underlying Case
Reportedly, the defendant was involved in a single-vehicle accident in which his car left the road, and his passenger was ejected from the vehicle. The passenger later died from his injuries. The defendant, who allegedly had marijuana in his system at the time of the accident, was charged with aggravated driving under the influence. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to twelve years in prison. He subsequently appealed, arguing that the DUI statute was unconstitutional, and his sentence was unjust. On appeal, the court affirmed.
At the time of the defendant’s conviction, the DUI statute prohibited a person from driving if he or she had any marijuana in his or her blood. Under the statute, any amount of marijuana use was criminal, and the State only had to prove that the defendant used marijuana prior to driving to obtain a conviction. The statute was later amended to remove marijuana-related offense, and a new provision was added that established the elements of marijuana-related DUI crimes.