Drunk Driving Stats in Illinois

Drunk Driving Stats in Illinois

Everyone knows the cardinal rule when it comes to drinking and driving. Don’t do it. Yet what exactly defines drunk driving in the state of Illinois? What’s the legal limit? How does it affect our abilities once we are behind the wheel of a car? Perhaps it’s time to remind ourselves why we shouldn’t drink alcohol and then operate a motor vehicle.

How Drunk Driving Is Legally Defined

In Illinois, as well as the rest of the United States, you are considered alcohol-impaired if you have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or higher. It is illegal for an individual to be operating a vehicle with a BAC this high.


Depending upon your weight and the time in which the alcohol is consumed, two beers might push someone over the 0.08 limit. Therefore, it is safer to abstain from drinking before getting behind the wheel of a car or truck.


However, it is important to note there are exceptions to the 0.08 rule. For any individuals under the age of 21, there is a zero tolerance policy for drinking and driving. Commercial drivers, such as truckers, are considered legally drunk if their blood alcohol concentration is over 0.04.

How Impairment Impacts Driving Ability

There are many ways that alcohol impacts one’s ability to drive. Driving under the influence affects one’s:

  • Reaction time. Alcohol slows reflexes, which makes driving and maneuvering difficult.

  • Vision. The eye muscles are weakened when an individual is under the influence, which can cause blurred vision.

  • Coordination. This can decrease your ability to judge where you are in regards to the road and other cars.

  • Comprehension. Alcohol can lower one’s ability to think and make rational decisions.

  • Concentration. Driving under the influence can cause drowsiness and a decrease in the ability to pay attention.

Statistics on Drunk Driving Fatalities

The statistics are sobering. In 1997, our state enacted the 0.08 law in regard to driving while under the influence. Since then fatalities have decreased by approximately 43%.


While this is certainly the direction we want to keep going in, there are still far too many alcohol-related fatalities. Between 2003 and 2012, almost 4,000 people were killed on the road due to impaired driving in Illinois. In the year 2016 alone, 272 people died due to this issue.

How Many People Are Arrested for DUIs in Illinois?

In the year 2016, approximately 30,000 people were arrested for DUIs in our state. While we already know driving under the influence is wrong, sometimes we forget the repercussions associated with this deed.

Punitive Damages Under Illinois Law

When a person is in a car accident with a drunk driver, they may be entitled to pursue compensation for punitive damages. Punitive damages are a means to deter someone from committing an act of negligence again. The negligent person will essentially pay more than just what is required for the injured party to get back to where they were prior.


Under Illinois law, a person can seek punitive damages for either:


1. Bodily injury

2. Physical damage to property

3. Product liability based on strict tort liability


The court will consider all the facts and determine if the injured party or physical damage to property was so great that extra compensation is required.


There is never an excuse to step behind the wheel of a car after having too much to drink. If you or a loved one has been injured or suffered a fatality due to drunk driving, contact us at Panio Law Offices. We will help you resolve your case and seek compensation for the injuries that you sustained.


Contact our firm today at (312) 313-0305 to discuss your case today.


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