Kryder Law’s auto accident attorneys are aware that drunk driving is a major safety hazard on roads in the Chicagoland area. While Illinois has many key laws in place to prevent and prosecute drunk driving, it remains a significant cause of auto accidents in the state. In 2012, drunk driving accidents accounted for 34% of all automobile accident deaths. No matter how safe a driver you are, you can’t be responsible for other drivers on the road.
Types of Drunk Driving Offenses
Every state has two types of drunk driving offenses. The first one is based on a police officer’s observation of a driver, and often referred to as Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Impaired (DWI). The second is based on blood alcohol level. Nationally, a blood alcohol level of .08 g/dl is considered the point at which driving ability is impaired. This kind of offense is known as illegal per se.
Drunk Driving Prevention
Fortunately, Illinois has been proactive in prosecuting drunk driving. It is one of many states that uses ignition interlock mechanisms for all convicted offenders. This device requires the driver to produce a breath sample and prevents the car from starting if the driver has alcohol on his or her breath. Illinois began employing this device in 2009 and it has resulted in a 22% decrease in deaths by drunk driving in the state. These devices are typically installed for about six months for first time offenders and longer for repeat offenders.
First and foremost, it is important to never get behind the wheel when intoxicated. It’s also vital to educate your children about the importance of avoiding underage drinking and driving. You should also be aware of the laws surrounding drunk driving, such as social host laws, that hold adults responsible for serving alcohol to underage drinkers. If you are involved in an accident with a drunk driver, you should consult with one of our personal injury lawyers who can help you determine your best course of action.
How Common Is Drunk Driving?
Drunk driving accounts for up to 28% of all traffic accidents. More than 10,000 people were involved in fatal drunk driving accidents in 2016. Around 17% of the child that’s caused by accidents are related to drunk driving. While drunk driving accidents are relatively common, drunk driving is more common sense most drunk driving cases don’t and in an accident. If you are out on the road, especially around the holidays, you should be vigilant for people driving under the influence. You should also take steps to stop yourself from driving under the influence since many people who do end up in a car accident.
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Drunk Driving Laws in Illinois
Drunk driving laws and Illinois include prison time and fines for people arrested for DUIs. Anyone arrested for a DUI can be sent to prison for up to one year and pay a fine of up to $2,500. The laws also compound over time, so anyone arrested for subsequent DUIs could face an extended prison sentence of 15 years and a fine up to $25,000. Furthermore, a higher blood alcohol content (BAC) can increase the severity of the penalties. Illinois considers a BAC of 0.16 or higher to be excessive and mandates stricter punishments.
Drunk Driving Dangers
Drunk driving is a serious hazard because of the effects on your brain. Alcohol and will slow down your response time significantly, as well as judgment. These two factors make it extremely dangerous to drive a since you won’t be able to effectively control your car, or respond to hazards in time to prevent an accident. Our drivers often have trouble driving in a straight line or performing standard driving maneuvers. Because of this, drinking before you get in the car significantly raises your chance of being a serious accident.
When Is Drunk Driving Most Common?
Drunk driving is most common around holidays and special events. New Year’s Day and Christmas are two the heaviest drunken-driving times a year. People go out and celebrate often involving alcohol. Without a designated driver or some other method of ensuring that they don’t get in the car to drive home, many people in the driving after they went out drinking. Since drinking impairs judgment, most of these people don’t realize that they should not drive themselves home.
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Ways to Prevent Drunk Driving
There are several ways to prevent drunk driving. The most immediate way to prevent drunk driving is to stop anyone who’s been drinking from getting behind the wheel. Having a designated driver is a great way to ensure that everyone gets home safely. Services like taxis, Uber, and Lyft are also great alternatives are getting home.
Another way of preventing drunk driving is by finding ways of controlling consumption. If you can limit the amount of available alcohol, then it is less likely that people will drink and drive. This is the method that many bars use to try to prevent drunk driving by taking people’s keys and cutting them off early.
Signs of Drunk Driving
If you suspect that somebody is driving while under the influence, there are specific signs that you can look for. The most obvious sign of drunk driving is an inability to drive in a straight line. Most drunk drivers swerve consistently while driving. It is possible that a non-drunk driver to drive the same way. However, swerving while drunk driving is almost always continuous. The driver will not be able to maintain a straight line at all and will continue to weave back and forth, unlike a person who is having difficulty driving.
Along with swerving, drunk drivers also tend to ignore speed limits. This could mean that a person driving too fast or substantially under the speed. A drunk driver may also not be able to hold a consistent speed, which makes them seem more erratic.