Illinois's Drugged Driving Law

Learn about the laws and penalties for driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) in Illinois.

Illinois’s drugged driving law is located at Illinois Code Section 11-501. It states that: “A person shall not drive or be in actual physical control of any vehicle within this State while … under the influence of any intoxicating compound or combination of intoxicating compounds to a degree that renders the person incapable of driving safely; under the influence of any other drug or combination of drugs to a degree that renders the person incapable of safely driving; or under the influence of any other drug or combination of drugs to a degree that renders the person incapable of safely driving.”

Illinois has what is known as a per se (also known as a “zero tolerance”) prohibition against drugged driving. That means that a driver may be arrested if the police officer has a reasonable suspicion that any prohibited drug (even if it’s just a trace) is in the driver's body while the driver is in control of the vehicle. Actual evidence of impaired driving is not essential as long as the police officer has a reasonable belief that the driver is on something while behind the wheel.

What drugs are prohibited?

Illinois’s drugged driving law is directed at the prohibition of  "any amount of a drug, substance, or compound in the person’s breath, blood, or urine resulting from the unlawful use or consumption of cannabis listed in the Cannabis Control Act, or a controlled substance listed in the Illinois Controlled Substances Act or intoxicating compound listed in the Use of Intoxicating Compounds Act or methamphetamine as listed in the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act.

What happens if a driver is convicted of drug impaired driving in Illinois?

A driver arrested for drugged driving in Illinois will be charged with driving under the influence and subject to DUI penalties. A conviction for drugged driving will be considered as a prior offense for purposes of calculating punishment regardless of whether a subsequent offense is due to alcohol or drugs. Read more about Illinois’s DUI laws.

Do Illinois drivers have to submit to drug testing?

Yes, there is an implied consent rule for blood and urine testing. The refusal to take the test can be admitted into evidence against the driver.

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