Drunk Driving Law in Illinois: What You Need to Know

How serious are impaired-driving deaths in the United States? According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are at least 28 alcohol-related deaths every day. It is, therefore, one of the leading causes of road deaths in the country.

In 2012, the national average death rate due to drunk driving was 3.3%, but Illinois had only 2.5%. In 2015, the number of alcohol-related deaths declined by as much as 43%. What did they do? Criminal defense attorneys in Springfield, IL explain.

Stringent DUI Laws

In 1997 Illinois became the fifteenth state to adopt the 0.08 law. It simply means that you’re driving under the influence if the alcohol concentration in the blood (BAC) is at least 0.08%. But even if yours is lower than that, you can still receive punishment if the police believe you’re not fit to be behind the wheel after a few bottles of beer.

The state also implements the zero tolerance law for underage drivers (or those who are below 21 years old). In fact, the BAC limit for them is zero percent. This is because minors shouldn’t have any access to alcohol anywhere in the country.

What are the Penalties?

Penalties for drunk driving in Illinois depend on many factors, like the frequency of offenses, age, and BAC. The first offense is already a class A misdemeanor, which could involve jail time of one year maximum. You may also undergo both alcohol assessment and treatment, as well as have your license suspended and vehicle confiscated. It also carries a fine of $2,500.

Penalties can become even more severe if your BAC is very high (0.16%) or when you’re driving with a minor.

In the end, driving while intoxicated isn’t worth it. It entails serious consequences and can be very costly – with or without an accident. But if you ever find yourself in such a dire situation, working with an experienced criminal defense attorney will be your best move. He or she can help provide you with favorable outcomes.