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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.
What Illinois Law Says About Testing the Alcohol in Your Blood
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:
What Illinois Law Says About Penalties for Drunk Driving
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.
I Was Arrested for Drunk Driving: What's Next?
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.
Receive a Free Case Review from an Attorney Familiar with Illinois DUI Laws
Illinois takes drunk driving very seriously. From mandatory license suspensions and BAC testing to fines and jail time, getting arrested for driving while intoxicated can have significant consequences. Whether you've just been arrested or you're looking at plea deals and trial dates, consider getting a free case review from an attorney who has experience navigating the Illinois drunk driving laws.