A Springfield Illinois man recently pled guilty to drug selling charges. He was sentenced to 9 years in prison.
Upon his release, the offender may find that he faces an Illinois driver’s license revocation. The article does not state, nor does any evidence in the case suggest, that the driver was using the drugs, or under the influence of the drugs or of any other drugs, including alcohol. You may quite logically ask, given this, how could he lose his driver’s license?
Many are familiar with the charge of Driving Under the Influence (DUI). To prove this charge, the prosecution must show, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you were operating a motor vehicle at a time that your ability to do so was impaired by alcohol, drugs or any combination thereof.
It is also illegal to operate a motor vehicle anywhere within the State of Illinois with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or greater. Furthermore, you can be charged in Illinois with DUI if it is shown that you had any amount of an illegal substance (including marijuana) in your system as shown by blood, urine or breath tests.
In the case of the BAC over .08 or the illegal substance in your system, the State is not required to prove that you were under the influence. Rather, the mere presence of the drug, or the BAC level, is a violation of the DUI laws. These are known as “per se” violations.
In summary, you are guilty of DUI and face jail time, fines and possible revocation of your Illinois driver’s license if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. You can also face the same consequences if you were operating a motor vehicle at a time there was an illegal substance in your body or your BAC was over .08. While in these situations they do not have to prove you were actually impaired by the alcohol or drugs, they still have to prove you were driving with the .08 BAC or while drugs were in your system.
But in Illinois, it can go even one step further. You could be someone who has never in your life used alcohol or other drugs and still lose your license if you are convicted of a Federal or State felony in which a motor vehicle was used. Presumably, the person mentioned in the newspaper article had used a car to arrive at the spot where the drug transaction was to take place.