The criminal statutes in most states provide that drivers can be charged with per se DUI violations if they drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that is 0.08 or higher. However, some states have considered lowering the legal limit to reduce DUI accidents. For example, there was a recent push in the Washington legislature to lower the legal limit to 0.05 due to a rise in fatal DUI collisions, but the measure stalled. In Illinois, the legal BAC limit is 0.08, but drivers can face DUI charges even if the State lacks evidence of their BAC. If you are accused of an Illinois DUI offense, it is recommended that you consult an Illinois DUI defense lawyer to evaluate your possible defenses promptly.
The Washington Bill
Allegedly, during the 2023 legislative session, Washington state legislators introduced a bill that aimed to lower the BAC limit for per se DUI charges to 0.05 from the current level of 0.08. Presently, only one other state, Utah, has a legal limit of 0.05. In every other state, including Washington, the BAC limit for per se DUI offenses is 0.08.
The bill to lower failed to pass the senate in time to pass during the 2023 legislative session, however. Supports of the bill noted it was inspired by Utah legislation. After the Utah BAC limit was lowered in 2019, the state saw a reduction in fatal vehicle collisions after lowering its limit in 2019.
The Washington bill’s supporters emphasized the importance of lowering the limit to hold people accountable and reduce fatalities, as the state experienced the worst number of road deaths in thirty years, with approximately 700 fatalities in the previous year.
DUI Charges in Illinois
Illinois has a per se BAC limit of 0.08, which means that if someone operates a vehicle with a BAC of 0.08 or more, they can be charged with per se DUI crimes. This allows the prosecution to establish guilt simply by proving that a person’s BAC level exceeded the legal limit while driving. If someone drives with a BAC of 0.16 or more, they may face enhanced penalties. Additionally, Illinois law allows for DUI convictions even without evidence of a person’s BAC level if it can be proven that the person consumed alcohol to the extent that it diminished their ability to operate a vehicle safely.
Meet With a Trusted Illinois DUI Defense Attorney
In Illinois, people can face DUI charges not only for operating a vehicle with a BAC above the legal limit of 0.08 but also for driving while impaired by alcohol, even without exceeding the legal limit. Therefore, it is crucial for anyone charged with a DUI crime to meet with an attorney to discuss their possible defenses. Attorney Theodore J. Harvatin of the Harvatin Law Offices, PC, is a trusted DUI defense lawyer, and if you are accused of a DUI offense, he can inform you of your rights and aid you in seeking the best legal result possible under the facts of your case. You can reach Mr. Harvatin by calling 217.525.0520 or using the online form to set up a conference.