Drunk Driving Accidents Remain A Serious Threat To Everyone On The Road

In the United States, almost thirty people die everyday from alcohol-impaired driving.  In 2010, alcohol-impaired driving accounted for 31% of all traffic-related deaths or 10,228 people.  Young people, especially ages 21-24, are most at risk for alcohol related car accidents and, in 2010, were responsible for 32% of all instances of drinking and driving.  For underage drinkers, the greatest single mortality risk factor is motor vehicle accidents.  Men, in 2010, were involved in 81% of all drinking and driving.

Drunk DrivingIn Illinois, the legal limit is .08% blood alcohol concentration (BAC), however a person can be arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) for a BAC between .05 and .08.  625 ILCS 5/11-501.  At this level, a person’s balance, speech, vision, reaction time, and hearing becomes poor, it is harder to detect danger, and judgment and self-control are impaired.

These symptoms can cause drivers problems with concentration, speed control, impaired reception, short-term memory loss, and reduced information processing.  As of 2011, Illinois has 49,537 three-time offenders, 5,659 five-time offenders, and 298 DUI fatalities.

In Illinois, if a person fails or refuses to submit to a complete chemical testing, there is an automatic statutory summary suspension of the person’s license.  If it is a first offense failing a chemical test, driving privileges are suspended for six months, and if it is a second or subsequent office within five years, the person’s driving privileges are suspended for one year.

The penalties for a DUI conviction depend on a number of factors including driver’s age, BAC level, if a child under sixteen was being transported, and if the driver had a previous DIU conviction.  An Aggravated DUI is a DUI offense that also results in felony charges.  If it is a person’s first DUI conviction, it is a Class A misdemeanor requiring a minimum revocation of driving privileges for one year or two years if the person is under 21.  If the driver’s BAC was .16 or higher, there is a mandatory minimum fine of $500 and 100 hours of community service.  If the driver was driving a child under 16 years old, there is a mandatory minimum fine of $1000 and 25 days community service along with possible imprisonment up to six months.

If the child under sixteen suffers bodily harm, it is an Aggravated DIU, Class 4 felony.  A second DUI conviction is also a Class A misdemeanor but with more serious penalties including a minimum five-year loss of full driving privileges.  A third DUI conviction is an Aggravated DUI and Class 2 felony.  A fifth DUI conviction is a Class 1 felony and a sixth or subsequent DUI conviction is a Class X felony where the person’s driving privileges are revoked for life.  A DUI conviction is a permanent part of the person’s driving record.

At any point, there are two million people on the road with three or more drunk driving offenses.  Between 50-75% of those who have their licenses taken away drive anyways.  With almost a third of all traffic deaths involving drunk driving, there is still much work to be done to reduce these numbers and improve traffic safety.

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers

If you or your loved one was involved in an alcohol related vehicle accident contact Chicago’s most respected personal injury law firm for a free case evaluation. In addition to looking towards the driver responsible for the collision, our Chicago accident attorneys have successfully prosecuted cased against bars and restaurants which may have served the alcoholic beverages. There are strict statute of limitations governing these cases, so contact our team today and begin the legal process.

Client Reviews

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Jonathan Rosenfeld was professionally objective, timely, and knowledgeable. Also, his advice was extremely effective regarding my case. In addition, Jonathan was understanding and patient pertaining to any of my questions or concerns. I was very happy with the end result and I highly recommend Jonathan Rosenfeld. Michonne Proulx
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Extremely impressed with this law firm. They took control of a bad motorcycle crash that left my uncle seriously injured. Without any guarantee of a financial recovery, they went out and hired accident investigators and engineers to help prove how the accident happened. I am grateful that they worked on a contingency fee basis as there was no way we could have paid for these services on our own. Ethan Armstrong
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This lawyer really helped me get compensation for my motorcycle accident case. I know there is no way that I could have gotten anywhere near the amount that Mr. Rosenfeld was able to get to settle my case. Thank you. Daniel Kaim
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Jonathan helped my family heal and get compensation after our child was suffered a life threatening injury at daycare. He was sympathetic and in constant contact with us letting us know all he knew every step of the way. We were so blessed to find Jonathan! Giulia
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Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial. Lisa