It’s surprisingly easy to violate Illinois drugged driving laws

On Behalf of | Mar 7, 2024 | Drug Crimes |

Traffic safety laws exist not to restrict the freedoms of individual drivers but instead to protect the public from the risk of a major motor vehicle collision. If every driver in Illinois consistently followed traffic laws, the chances of tragic collisions would likely decline substantially.

Unfortunately, confusion about what traffic statutes require from motorists may lead to people unintentionally breaking the law. Many people arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) offenses face charges because of drugs or prescription medication rather than alcohol.

The law prohibits the operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of substances that can affect someone’s ability, not just alcohol. Unfortunately for those who have chemical dependence issues or certain prescription medications, it is quite easy to break the state’s laws that concern drugged driving.

Drugged driving charges do not involve a technical limit

Those accused of drunk driving in Illinois can sometimes defend against their charges by questioning the accuracy of alcohol tests or the legality of an officer administering the test in the first place. People may be able to raise valid questions about whether or not they technically violated the law.

However, a defense against drugged driving allegations can be harder to plan in part because there is no legal limit for drugs other than alcohol. Illinois does not have a per se limit for any prescription medications or recreational drugs. Any detectable amount of prescription and prohibited drugs can be enough to lead to someone’s conviction if the state can reasonably assert that the medication could affect someone’s driving ability.

A whole assortment of different medications could lead to allegations of intoxication against a driver. Pain medication, muscle relaxants, psychiatric drugs and even anti-seizure medication can all potentially affect someone’s driving ability. A motorist usually cannot rely on technically being under the legal limit in a drugged driving case. However, it may be possible to question the legality of a traffic stop or the appropriateness of testing a driver in some scenarios.

The strategies that work when responding to drugged driving DUI charges may be somewhat different than the best strategy for an alcohol-related offense. Learning more about Illinois DUI statutes, and seeking legal guidance as soon as possible accordingly, may benefit those recently arrested because of the use of a medication.