Driving under the influence is never a good idea, but sometimes it happens without people even being aware they are driving under the influence. Drunk driving is determined by performing a blood alcohol content (BAC) test on a person driving a vehicle. This test shows the level of alcohol in a person’s blood. The legal limit in Chicago and the rest of the country is .08 percent. The problem with this is everyone reacts differently to their drinks.
One person can have a beer and have a higher alcohol content level than another person. It depends largely on your size, your health, and your ability to metabolize your intake. No two people are the same, and that means you’re going to find some people assume they are perfectly fine when they are not. It’s how many people end up in jail for a DUI. They don’t think the two or three drinks they had affected them too much, and they think they’re fine to drive.
If you are pulled over and the officer suspects you might be under the influence, he has the right to ask you to perform a field sobriety test. You do have the right to refuse, but you will need to take a blood-alcohol test to confirm your alcohol level. If you do not do this, you are refusing. Your license is automatically suspended if you refuse.
BAC Levels in Chicago
Now that you know what might happen if you drink and drive, it’s time to understand what it means when your BAC is a certain limit. If your BAC is .08 percent, it’s over the legal limit and you are automatically arrested. If you are younger than 21 and your BAC is higher than .00 percent, you’ve crossed the legal limit for that age range. If you are a CDL holder, your legal limit is .04 percent.
Once you are arrested and charged with a DUI, you must call an attorney. You’ll need to enter a plea, build a case if you decide you want to plead not guilty, and you’ll need to know what rights you have in this situation. What happens to you if you are convicted of a DUI depends on several factors.
– First time DUI offenders pay fines, spend minimal time in jail, go to court-ordered alcohol courses, and they might find their license suspended
– Second time DUI offenders are given harsher fines, jail time, and other consequences
– Subsequent offenders end up with much more serious penalties
– You must have an ignition interlock device placed in your vehicle
The fines get harsher each time you are arrested for a DUI. The consequences of driving under the influence also grow if you cause an accident, if someone is injured in that accident, or if someone is killed. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve been convicted or not, you’re getting a much harsher sentence if you hurt or kill someone while driving under the influence.
Illinois lawmakers want you to know it’s not all right to drink and drive, and that’s why DUI laws are so harsh. If your BAC is above .08 percent in Chicago, you might not find that it hurts your case in any way. However, if your BAC is .16 percent or above, the game changes. This is called Enhanced Penalty (Aggravated) BAC Limit, and it’s going to come with harsher consequences automatically even if this is your first DUI arrest.
This is considered excessive and more dangerous as it is now double the legal limit, and it’s far more dangerous to drive like this than it is to drive when you are right at the legal limit. You automatically face harsher prison sentence and fines, and these only get worse if you have a minor in the car or multiple DUI convictions.
Avoiding DUIs in Chicago
You don’t know what your BAC is even if you’ve only had one drink. You don’t know if it’s low, if it’s past the legal limit, or if it’s double the legal limit, but there is never a good reason to take a chance. If you’ve had a drink and you need to get home, it’s best to call someone to give you a ride. Call a cab, call a friend, call your parents, call anyone you want who is not drinking to take you home. It’s never worth putting your entire life at risk to drive yourself home and risk a DUI. It’s not just your life, either. It’s the lives of everyone else on the road with you in your hands when you drive under the influence.
The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Learn more about DUI by reading this wikipedia page.