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Could a Person be Convicted in an Illinois Court for a DUI Based on Metabolites in the Blood?

When most people contemplate what constitutes grounds to charge a person with DUI, they think of driving while intoxicated due to the consumption of alcohol. In many states, however, a person can be convicted of DUI for driving while under the influence of other substances, such as illicit or prescription drugs. In some cases, misinterpretation of DUI laws allowing for charges to arise out of driving while under the influence of drugs leads to absurd results, as demonstrated in a recent Pennsylvania case in which a man was convicted of DUI for having metabolites of a prescribed narcotic in his system, despite the fact that it was not illegal to drive under the influence of the narcotic. If you live in Illinois and were charged with a DUI due to evidence of metabolites in your blood, you should consult a seasoned Illinois DUI defense attorney regarding what actions you can take to protect your rights.

Facts of the Pennsylvania Case

Allegedly, the police responded to a call from the defendant’s father, who observed the defendant’s car in his driveway but could not find the defendant. The police ultimately found the defendant by a ravine in his parent’s backyard. He appeared intoxicated and admitted to consuming several beers after he arrived at his parents’ house, to build up the courage to tell his parents his father had terminal cancer. He was arrested for DUI and transported to a police station, where he underwent a blood test that revealed, in part, metabolites of fentanyl in his blood.

It is reported that the defendant was subsequently charged with multiple DUI offenses, including DUI-metabolite. Following a trial, he was convicted of DUI-metabolite, after which he appealed. Upon consideration of the evidence on appeal, the court reversed the defendant’s conviction, finding that the defendant could not be found guilty of DUI for driving with the metabolite of a prescribed substance in his blood when driving while under the influence of the controlled substance was not illegal.

Grounds for Illinois DUI Charges

Under Illinois law, a person may be convicted of DUI for driving under the influence of an intoxicating compound or drug that renders the person unable to drive safely. The DUI statute does not specifically indicate whether a person may be found guilty of DUI due to the presence of metabolites of a drug in his or her blood. Further, a person can be convicted of DUI if there is any amount of a substance, drug, or compound in his or her blood or urine, resulting from the use or consumption of a controlled substance or intoxicating compound as defined by law. Thus, it is possible that a court could find that metabolites of a drug, which are the result of the body processing a drug, could form the basis of a DUI charge or conviction under Illinois law.

Meet with a Capable DUI Defense Attorney

If you were charged with DUI in Illinois because of metabolites in your blood, it is in your best interest to meet with a capable Illinois DUI defense attorney to discuss your potential defenses. Attorney Theodore J. Harvatin, of the Harvatin Law Offices, PC, is dedicated to helping people charged with DUI seek just results, and he will fight tirelessly on your behalf. You can contact Mr. Harvatin through the form online or at 217.525.0520 to schedule a conference.

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