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Williamson County, Illinois crash leads to injuries and DUI charges

Illinois has a law against Driving Under the Influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs. 625 ILCS 5/11-501 and following. Some people are surprised to learn that they can be arrested for DUI in Illinois even if they are involved in a crash in which they are the only ones injured.

There are several different types of DUI in Illinois. 625 ILCS 5/11-501(a) provides as follows: (a) A person shall not drive or be in actual physical control of any vehicle within this State while:
(1) the alcohol concentration in the person’s blood or breath is 0.08 or more based on the definition of blood and breath units in Section 11-501.2 [625 ILCS 5/11-501.2];
(2) under the influence of alcohol;
(3) under the influence of any intoxicating compound or combination of intoxicating compounds to a degree that renders the person incapable of driving safely;
(4) under the influence of any other drug or combination of drugs to a degree that renders the person incapable of safely driving;
(5) under the combined influence of alcohol, other drug or drugs, or intoxicating compound or compounds to a degree that renders the person incapable of safely driving; or
(6) there is any amount of a drug, substance, or compound in the person’s breath, blood, or urine resulting from the unlawful use or consumption of cannabis listed in the Cannabis Control Act [720 ILCS 550/1 et seq.], a controlled substance listed in the Illinois Controlled Substances Act [720 ILCS 570/100 et seq.], an intoxicating compound listed in the Use of Intoxicating Compounds Act [720 ILCS 690/0.01 et seq.], or methamphetamine as listed in the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act [720 ILCS 646/1 et seq.


Subpart (1) is known as the “per se” law. In essence, the only proof required is that you had a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher. Even if you appear to be completely sober, Illinois law makes it illegal to drive with a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher.

Subpart (2) is standard DUI. Here, the state must prove that alcohol impaired your ability to drive.

Subpart (3) refers to things such as sniffing glue and “huffing”. In other words, it is illegal to drive if you are impaired due to snorting enough inhalants to be under the influence, even if the inhalants themselves are completely legal.

Subpart (4) makes it illegal to drive while under the influence of any drug or combination of drugs, including but not limited to marijuana. It also includes prescription medications, provided the state can prove they impaired your driving ability, even if you are taking the prescribed dose.

Subpart (5) is a mashing together of subparts (2-4). It is illegal to drive if you are impaired due to a combination of alcohol, or other drugs or inhalants.

Subpart (6) makes it illegal to drive with any amount of the listed drugs in your system. The state does not even have to prove you are impaired. You probably know that certain drugs can remain in your system for days or weeks after you use them. In Illinois, this is illegal, regardless of the fact the drugs have no impact upon your ability to drive.

In People v. Martin, 2011 IL 109102, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that if a driver who has any amount of a drug identified in subpart (6) in his system is involved in crash in which someone dies, he is guilty of aggravated DUI, a felony.

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