In the vast majority of states, people can be charged with DUI crimes if they operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration above 0.08. Occasionally, some jurisdictions have contemplated reducing the legal limit in hopes of reducing DUI crimes. Currently, there is a movement in Washington state to lower the legal limit to 0.05 in the wake of an increase in fatal DUI accidents. If you are accused of driving with a blood alcohol level that is over the legal limit in Illinois, it is advisable to meet with an Illinois DUI defense lawyer to discuss the charges against you.
Washington’s Proposed Law
Allegedly, lawmakers in Washington state introduced a bill during the 2023 legislative session that would lower the blood alcohol limit for per se DUI offenses from 0.08 to 0.05. Currently, Utah is the only other state with a legal limit of 0.05; in Washington and every other State in the country, the legal limit is 0.08.
It is reported that one of the state senators sponsoring the bill explained that the impetus behind the movement is a marked increase in fatal DUI crashes throughout the State. In assessing data pertaining to DUI crashes, Washington legislators looked at the benefits Utah experienced after reducing the legal limit for DUI crimes and inferred that similar measures would bring about the same outcomes in Washington. Specifically, Utah experienced a 20% reduction in DUI fatalities since reducing the blood alcohol limit for DUI crimes to 0.05.
DUI Charges in Illinois
In Illinois, the legal blood alcohol limit is 0.08. In other words, people can be charged with per se DUI crimes if they operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher. In other words, the prosecution can establish a person’s guilt merely by demonstrating that their blood alcohol level surpassed the legal limit while they operated a vehicle. People who drive with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.16 or higher may face increased penalties.
Notably, Illinois law also allows people to be convicted of DUI offenses absent any evidence of their blood alcohol level. In such instances, the prosecution must prove that they consumed alcohol to the degree that impaired their ability to drive in a safe manner.
Talk to a Seasoned Illinois DUI Defense Attorney
The State can charge people with per se DUI offenses if they operate a vehicle with a BAC that is over the legal limit, but people can also face DUI charges if there is evidence they drove while intoxicated, regardless of their blood alcohol level. If you are accused of a DUI crime, it is smart to talk to an Illinois criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Attorney Theodore J. Harvatin of the Harvatin Law Offices, PC, is a seasoned DUI defense attorney with ample experience helping people facing DUI charges fight to protect their rights, and if you hire him, he will work tirelessly on your behalf. You can reach Mr. Harvatin via the form online or at 217.525.0520 to set up a meeting.