Wednesday afternoon, the Chicago City Council finally made a necessary move to
decriminalize authorize tickets for pot possession instead of arrests, reports NBC Chicago. Though they were careful to point out that the new measure would not decriminalize marijuana, the ordinance does allow cops to hand out a hefty ticket instead of arresting the pot possessor.
There are a few limitations to the law. The possession ticket limit is 15 grams or less. Arrests are still mandated for those caught smoking in public or possessing weed near a public park or school. Anyone under 17 or lacking proper identification will face arrest as well.
Anyone else holding 15 grams or less faces a ticket of $250 to $500. The measure is expected to save over $1 million in enforcement costs as well as raise $7 million in revenue for the city.
What the law doesn't do, however, is affect the state's drugged driving laws.
In the Great State of Illinois, one only has to have metabolites of marijuana (or other drugs) in their system to be charged with drugged driving. According to NORML, regular smokers can be charged with drugged driving up to a month after they last smoked.
However, if you are in an accident, and you test positive for metabolites, you can be charged with a felony DUI charge even if you were not impaired. A felony DUI charge resulting from a fatal accident can land you in prison for up to seven years.
Did we mention that you don't need to be impaired?
- Consult a Chicago DUI Lawyer (FindLaw)
- Hanin Goma, Drugged Driver that Killed Kid, Indicted (FindLaw's Chicago DUI Blog)
- Drugged Driving, Road Rage, and a Dead Bystander (FindLaw's Chicago DUI Blog)
- Like Father, Like Son; DUIs, Motorcycles, and LSD (FindLaw's Chicago DUI Blog)