Lisle police: Driver was high on marijuana at time of crash
A 20-year-old Wheaton man is accused of driving under the influence of cannabis and possessing it illegally after a head-on crash in Lisle, authorities said Tuesday.
Cole T. Dixon, of the 1400 block of Falson Court, has been charged with driving under the influence of drugs and possession of cannabis after police say he drove into opposing lanes of traffic at 7:23 a.m. Monday on Route 53 near Main Street and struck another vehicle head-on.
There were no apparent injuries and the driver of the other vehicle refused to be taken to the hospital, Deputy Chief Ron Wilke said.
Officer Bill Wise, who is trained as a drug recognition expert, was one of the first responders. He said officers performed a field sobriety test at the scene before Dixon was taken to the hospital to give blood and urine samples. After police arrested Dixon, Wise said, he performed a drug recognition exam.
"I made the determination he was under the influence of cannabis," Wise said.
Illinois law says drivers are impaired by cannabis when they have 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood or 10 nanograms of THC per milliliter of saliva or other bodily fluid. If that level of intoxication is found in Dixon's samples, prosecutors can decide whether to add another charge, Wilke said.
Dixon's arrest came 20 days after recreational cannabis possession and use became legal in Illinois for adults 21 and older.
But at Dixon's age of 20, possessing cannabis is not allowed. Police also said the cannabis found in Dixon's possession was not properly transported because it was not in a sealed, odorless, child-resistant container. Police said they did not know the source of the cannabis.
Wilke said the case serves as a reminder that the beginning of recreational-use cannabis is not a free pass to drive while high.
"Everybody is under this impression that, 'It's legal, I can have it whenever I want,'" Wilke said, "and that's not necessarily true."