A New Trier student faces two misdemeanor DUI charges after her alleged involvement in a hit-and-run involving another student. Erin Hughes, 18, allegedly admitted to smoking marijuana the night before Cook County prosecutors claim she hit another student who was crossing the street. Hughes, of Wilmette, allegedly slowed after hitting the other student but then proceeded to drive off. The student suffered severe head injuries but is now home rehabilitating.
Blood and urine tests reportedly showed that Hughes had marijuana in her system on May 14 when the accident occurred. Under Illinois law, any amount of cannabis in a driver’s system is enough to charge that driver with DUI. This is true regardless of actual evidence the driver was impaired at the time. Hughes could have faced aggravated felony DUI charges because of the injuries caused by the crash. However, prosecutors would have had to prove that she was impaired at the time of the incident. Proving impairment from cannabis is very difficult in DUI cases. Hughes will face a maximum three-year prison term and is currently free on bail.
Teen charged with DUI in hit-and-run of fellow New Trier student, www.suntimes.com, June 14, 2010