Illinois DUI Law 625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(4) is the section of DUI that surprises people most. It is essentially the Illinois Drugged Driving catch-all law. Police and prosecutors can choose to include one or several different sections of the DUI law to charge, depending on the evidence they believe they have. Here we explain what's so different about this section.
Illinois DUI Law 625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(4)
Illinois law generally states that "a person shall not drive or be in actual physical control of any vehicle within this State ...." and this commonly charged section explains the rest of this offense:
(4) under the influence of any other drug or combination of drugs to a degree that renders the person incapable of safely driving;
This section of the law prohibits the driving under the influence of any drug - in other words, not just illegal drugs. This goes beyond driving under the influence of heroine or cocaine or other heavily controlled illegal drugs, and is much broader. Commonly abused prescription drugs like methylphenidate, fentanyl and other opioid derivatives, Xanax, Valium, Tramadol and more are also included. In fact, non-prescription drugs can also theoretically form the basis of a charge under this section.
This section of the law also requires the prosecution to able to prove not only ingestion of a drug or drugs (whatever they may be), but also that the person's ability to drive safely was so impaired that he or she was "incapable" of driving safely because of those drugs. In the case of the use of prescription drugs, the prosecution may need to demonstrate that the amount of the drug measurable within the system of the driver exceeds what is pharmacologically considered a therapeutic level.
This Illinois DUI law 11-501(a)(4) section may be charged alongside other counts depending on the evidence available to the prosecution.
All DUI cases have a lot of components that merit careful scrutiny by a qualified Illinois DUI lawyer, and one should not immediately assume an arrest requires a guilty plea.
Give us a call to see if we can help with your 625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)4 defense.