Last Sunday, the Chicago Sun-Times ran an article, in which I was quoted, entitled “You still can’t smoke pot and drive” by Sam Charles.
The gist of the article is that the de-criminalization of marijuana in Illinois will not affect its DUI laws – it will still be illegal to drive while impaired or have either 5 nanograms of THC in your blood or 10 nanograms of it in your urine or saliva. 625 ILCS 5/11-501.2.
It is unclear whether the 5 nanogram blood/10 nanogram urine/saliva standard has any equivalence to the 0.08 blood alcohol “legal limit” that we use for alcohol. Heavy users of marijuana should expect to have high levels of THC in their system much longer than occasional users.
It is also unclear to me how police departments will handle the de-criminalization. Will an odor of cannabis still result in body and vehicle searches? It remains to be seen.
Below, a graphic from the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office about marijuana legalization: