A driver who was allegedly high on marijuana was involved in a head-on car accident in Lisle, IL, in what might be the first marijuana-related DUI case in Illinois since the state legalized recreational cannabis.
DUI, Unlawful Possession, Improper Lane Usage
On January 20, 2020, at approximately 7:20 p.m., Cole T. Dixon, a 20-year-old Wheaton resident, was driving southbound on Route 53, near its intersection with Main Street. According to a preliminary investigation, Dixon then crossed into oncoming traffic and collided head on with a 54-year-old male driver.
Responding officers administered a field sobriety test, the same one given to suspected drunk drivers. After Dixon “showed heavy impairment,” he was arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs, unlawful possession of cannabis, and improper lane usage. Although police did not administer a chemical test, they said they will likely subpoena Dixon’s blood test results from the hospital to further confirm that he was high on marijuana while he was driving.
Cole Dixon faces the unlawful possession charge because he was under 21, the legal age to carry cannabis products in Illinois. Dixon was also transporting the marijuana in a plastic baggie instead of an airtight container as required by Illinois law.
Lisle Police Deputy Chief Ron Wilke said this incident offered a valuable reminder of the risks of driving while high on marijuana: “We realize that cannabis is legal, but impaired driving is not legal and can obviously be quite dangerous.”
Have You Been Hurt by a Driver High on Marijuana?
Cannabis may be legal for U.S. citizens age 21 or older in Illinois, but it cannot be consumed with impunity. Among other restrictions, people may not ingest it in public streets or parks, around somebody under the age of 21, in the presence of a police officer, firefighter, or on-duty bus driver, or in an apartment or condominium where the landlord or association does not allow marijuana usage. There are limits on where people can purchase cannabis products in Illinois and how much they can buy, and employers can enforce zero tolerance policies for their employees.
People also cannot consume cannabis in a vehicle, and they absolutely cannot drive while they are high on marijuana. Any form of impairment behind the wheel is impairment in violation of the Motor Vehicle Code, and someone who is driving while high on marijuana can face stiff legal penalties.
Whether these laws are observed, however, remains to be seen, especially now that more people may be considering the use of recreational marijuana thanks to its legal availability. If you believe you have been wrongfully injured by a driver who was high on marijuana, contact GWC Injury Lawyers LLC.
For over four decades, our Chicago car accident attorneys have been helping the victims of impaired drivers. GWC has recovered more than $2 billion in verdicts and settlements for clients, a record of success that speaks for itself.