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What You Should Know About Accidents Caused by Drivers Under the Influence of Marijuana

Posted on in Drunk Driving Accidents

Lake County personal injury attorneysMarijuana has several substantial effects on a user’s body and mind. Depending on the amount of cannabis smoked or otherwise consumed, the drug may cause impaired judgment, reduced coordination, and slowed reflexes. These effects can significantly impair a person’s ability to safely drive. On January 1, 2020, Illinois legalized the recreational consumption and use of cannabis. If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident caused by a driver who was under the influence of marijuana, you may wonder what your options for compensation are now that cannabis is legal.

Drugged Driving Laws in Illinois

When most people think of driving under the influence (DUI), they assume the intoxicating substance is alcohol. However, driving drunk is not the only way a person can be charged with a DUI in Illinois. It is also against Illinois law to drive or be in physical control of a vehicle if:

  • There is a controlled substance in the driver's body.
  • A driver's blood contains a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration of five nanograms per milliliter or more. THC is the main psychoactive substance in cannabis.
  • Another bodily substance (such as saliva) contains a THC concentration of ten nanograms per milliliter or more.
  • A driver is under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs to an extent that leaves him or her unable to drive safely.

The legalization of recreational marijuana does not negate the laws prohibiting drugged driving. Even though it is now legal to purchase and use cannabis in Illinois, a person can still be guilty of a criminal offense for driving under the influence of cannabis.

Bringing a Personal Injury Lawsuit Against a Drugged Driver

Civil claims can be brought against a drugged driver in conjunction with criminal DUI charges, but a DUI charge is not a requirement in a personal injury case involving drugged driving. “Preponderance of evidence” is the standard by which Illinois personal injury claims must be proved. This means that the injured person and his or her attorney must prove that it is more likely than not that the defendant’s actions caused the injury. If the defendant’s negligence caused your accident—regardless of if this negligence was related to marijuana—you may have a valid personal injury claim. You could be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost income, and more.

Contact a Waukegan Car Accident Lawyer

If you were hurt in a car accident caused by another driver’s carelessness or wrongdoing, you deserve to be compensated for your losses. Contact Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. to get the legal guidance and aggressive representation you need. Call us at 847-662-3303 today to schedule a free consultation with a knowledgeable Lake County personal injury attorney from our firm.

 

Sources:

https://www.healthline.com/health/addiction/marijuana/effects-on-body#1

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-501

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