Illinois Passes New Controversial DUI Law that Requires No Proof of Impairment

Have you smoked marijuana or taken one of your wife's painkillers because of a nagging toothache two days ago and then had a major car accident today??

In Illinois, you can now be charged with felony aggravated DUI. According to a Illinois Supreme Court decision, prosecutors no longer have to show the drug contributed to a crash, only that it was present in the offenders system.

This ruling stemmed from a 2004 fatality accident where a motorist had "trace amounts" of methamphetamine in his blood when he crashed his pick-up truck into another vehicle, killing a woman and her elderly mother.

While safety advocates applaud the ruling, some defense lawyers and other critics say the justices have given prosecutors an unfair advantage in pressing such cases. They say, that the Illinois Supreme Court's decision, misinterprets the Legislature's intent when they constructed the state's drunken-driving laws and could put lawful prescription drug users at risk.

A case potentially affecting many more involves another man who took "one or two" hits of pot the night prior to being involved in a fatal crash. He now faces a three to 14 years prison sentence under upgraded charges. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, based on random roadside checks, found that 16.3 percent of motorists at night were on various drugs, with pot being the most common.

If you or loved one has been arrested for driving under the influence of drugs, contact our criminal defense team at Joey Gilbert Law​.


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