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This year, Illinois became the 11th state in the United States to legalize the possession and use of recreational marijuana. The Cannabis Regulation and Taxation Act (CRTA) goes into effect on January 1, 2020, allowing for the sale and purchase of recreational cannabis products at licensed establishments as of that date. 

However, many people in Illinois currently use marijuana products, whether they are purchased illegally, or purchased in another state with legal cannabis and unlawfully transported to Illinois. This may be especially common with commercial truck drivers who regularly travel through states with legal marijuana and later use that marijuana in Illinois.

In some situations, people will get behind the wheel of a car or large truck after using marijuana, and stoned driving can lead to serious accidents.

Stoned Driving is Always Against the Law

Even when recreational marijuana use is legal, driving under the influence (DUI) of marijuana is never legal. Illinois law strictly prohibits “driving while under the influence of alcohol, other drug or drugs, intoxicating compound or compounds or any combination thereof.” This includes lawful drugs, such as prescriptions and, eventually, legally-purchased marijuana.

This is a highly important safety law, as driving while intoxicated by any substance can result in serious accidents and injuries to others. Some ways that marijuana may impair a driver’s abilities include:

  • Slowed reaction times
  • Lack of focus on the road or traffic
  • “Tunnel vision” or blurry vision
  • Sleepiness
  • Anxiety or jumpiness
  • Impaired judgment and sensory abilities 

All of these can result in serious crashes, and you should know what to do if you suspect a stoned driver caused your accident.

Call the Police

It is important to call the authorities after an accident, especially if you believe the other driver may be under the influence. Not only will they dispatch medical personnel to the scene, but the police should arrive to help determine whether one or more drivers violated the law. Officers will observe the driver and may conduct roadside tests to gain probable cause for an arrest. If the driver is arrested, they may later be convicted of DUI, which helps demonstrate liability for your injuries.

Call an Auto Accident Attorney in Chicago

Stoned drivers should always be held fully liable for the injuries they cause. The insurance process can be complicated, however, and you want to have the right legal team handling your claim. An experienced lawyer will know how to present a persuasive claim and prove all of your damages. We fight for higher compensation for our clients than offered by insurers through skilled negotiation or by filing a personal injury lawsuit. We regularly seek compensation for the following and more:

  • Medical expenses 
  • Lost income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Wrongful death

Discuss Your Options with an Experienced Chicago Car Accident Lawyer

The personal injury attorneys of Malman Law in Chicago stand up for auto accident victims, especially after drunk or drugged driving crashes. Whether marijuana is legal or not, there is no excuse for stoned driving, and we stand up for the rights of injured clients. Call (312) 629-0099 or contact us online for your free case evaluation today. 

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