Being found guilty of driving under the influence (DUI) can have devastating effects on an individual’s life. Those found guilty of drunk driving can face steep fines, loss of driving privileges, community service, and even jail time. Most people have heard that 0.08 is the magic number when it comes to being legally intoxicated behind the wheel. However, there are several circumstances where a person can be in violation of the law when driving a car with a blood alcohol content which is under the legal limit.
Illinois Per Se DUI Laws
The reason it seems that 0.08 is the magic number when it comes to DUIs is because driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or more is considered “per se intoxicated.” “Per se” laws establish that if someone is operating a vehicle and is found to have a BAC over the 0.08 limit, that no other evidence is necessary to prove a driver’s intoxication. However, a BAC at or above the legal limit is not always necessary for a DUI conviction.
Zero Tolerance for Drivers Under 21 Years Old
Illinois, like all other states, sets the legal drinking age at 21 years. If an underage driver is caught with any trace of alcohol in their system, they can be charged with a DUI. Even a BAC of only 0.01 may be enough to result in a DUI conviction.
According to Illinois state law, the term “intoxicated” driving applies to both alcohol and drugs. If an officer feels that you are “noticeably intoxicated” and you are found to have drugs in your body, you can be charged with a DUI. Even prescription drugs can impair a person’s ability to drive, so they can also contribute to this charge.
Prosecutors May Claim a Lower BAC Is a Result of Time
Sometimes, a driver is pulled over, given a blood alcohol test, and the test results in a BAC very near to the legal limit – such as 0.07 or 0.06. A police officer may still charge those with BACs just under the legal limit with a DUI. A prosecutor may argue that the BAC was actually higher at the time the person was driving but had lowered as time passed before the test.
If you have been accused of drunk driving or charged with a DUI, speak with an experienced Kane County DUI attorney for help. Contact The Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola today at 847-488-0889 to schedule your free consultation.