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While many Bears fans enjoy a good brewski, combining alcohol and driving is never a good idea. Illinois has some very strict drunk driving laws on the books, including more severe penalties if there are children in your car while you're driving drunk. For these reasons -- not to mention the obvious risks involved -- you should avoid drinking and driving in Illinois. If you've been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) or a related offense, you should know Illinois' drunk driving laws and what the possible consequences are if you're convicted.
Determining if a driver is drunk usually involves more than just field sobriety tests -- law enforcement also tests your blood-alcohol concentration (BAC). For people over 21, it's illegal to drive if your BAC is .08 percent or more, and for commercial drivers, the limit is .04 percent (Sec. 5/11-501). Illinois is a so-called "zero tolerance" state, which means that people who aren't yet 21 years old may not have any measureable amount of alcohol in their blood while driving (Sec. 5/11-501.8).
Illinois drunk driving laws require the following when testing sobriety:
If you're convicted of drunk driving in Illinois, you could face very serious consequences, which vary depending on your age, BAC level, the ages of any passengers, whether you have previous convictions, and other circumstances. Illinois statutes include the following penalties for driving while intoxicated:
Read the full text of the compiled Illinois Statutes for more details.
It doesn't matter how sober you feel -- if your BAC is over the legal limit, law enforcement considers you intoxicated. That's not the end of the story, though. People charged with drunk driving can challenge the BAC testing equipment, the procedures used by law enforcement, and the reason for the traffic stop, among other things. An experienced DUI defense attorney can explain the post-arrest process, guide you through your legal options, and help protect your rights.
This article is intended to be helpful and informative. But even common legal matters can become complex and stressful. A qualified drunk driving lawyer can address your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a local drunk driving attorney to discuss your specific legal situation.