Illinois Attorney for Drunk Driving
Drunk driving is a crime. A drunk driver who hurts someone in a crash faces jail time and civil liability for the injuries and property damage that results. If you have been hurt or someone you love has been hurt or killed as a result of a crash involving a drunk driver in Illinois, contact personal injury lawyer Christopher Dixon.
For an immediate FREE Legal Consultation, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, call 855-40-CRASH.
Drinking and Driving Statistics
Nationally, more than 12,000 lives are taken each year in alcohol-involved crashes. Of all of the fatal crashes in the United States, 31% are alcohol related. When police use Breathalyzer tests on drivers, those under the influence record an average blood alcohol level (BAC) of 0.16, or double the limit in most states.
According to the Illinois Secretary of State, 956 people were killed in Illinois car crashes in 2012. Forty-one percent of the fatalities were alcohol related. Illinois drunk driving fatalities have declined from 58.6% in 1982 to 41% in 2012. However, on average nearly 400 people die each year as a result of an Illinois drunk driving accident.
Illinois Drinking and Driving Laws
More than 35,000 people are arrested annually in Illinois for drinking and driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics.
In Illinois, the legal blood alcohol limits vary depending on whether the driver under the age of 21 or a commercial driver.
- An adult driver 21 or older who has a blood alcohol level of .08% or over may be charged with driving while intoxicated or alcohol-related charges.
- If you are driving with a BAC between 0.05% and 0.08%, you may still be cited if your behavior suggests you are impaired.
- A commercial driver, such as a bus or truck driver, who has a blood alcohol level of .04% or over may be charged with driving while intoxicated or alcohol-related charges.
- A driver under 21 who has a blood alcohol level of .01% may face an alcohol-related charge. There is a zero tolerance policy with drivers who have not reached drinking age.
Along with serving jail time and being fined, a person who is convicted of driving while intoxicated can lose their license. The first offense carries a mandatory license suspension of one year; the second offense requires a five-year suspension; the third offense requires a 10-year suspension.
Illinois Drunk Driving Accident Liability
The victim of a drunk driver may seek damages in a civil lawsuit. The drunken driving victim may seek damages for:
- Medical bills incurred as a result of the accident
- Future medical bills that will need to be paid for injuries related to the accident
- Lost wages
- Future wages
- Property damage
- Funeral expenses
The Illinois Liquor Control Act, also known as the Dram Shop Act, also allows the victim of a drunk driver to sue the restaurant, bar, tavern or business that sold liquor to the intoxicated person. However, the law limits the time to sue to one year after the occurrence and damages are subject to statutory limits.
If a victim of drunk driving is killed, his or her immediate family members may sue the driver for wrongful death. Under the Illinois Wrongful Death Act, surviving family members can sue to recover pecuniary damages, or monetary damages for both the “money, benefits, goods, and services the decedent customarily contributed in the past,” as well the “money, benefits, goods, and services the decedent was likely to have contributed in the future.” Illinois Pattern Jury Instruction 31.04.
According to MADD, Illinois was one of the first states to implement an all-offender ignition interlock law. Since the law was enacted in 2009, the state has seen a reduction in drunk driving fatalities. However, offenders have the option to go on interlock or have their license suspended. Interlock installation rates are only about 20 percent of eligible offenders. It’s been estimated that taxpayers subsidized drunken driving fatalities at $1.6 billion in 2014.
In late-May 2015, Senate Bill 627 was approved by the Illinois House of Representatives and then headed back to the Illinois Senate for final approval. The bill’s aim is to strengthen stringent DUI laws that are already in place. Specifically, lawmakers want to increase participation in the state’s breath alcohol ignition interlock device program.
Contact An Illinois Lawyer For Drunk Driving Accidents
Drinking and driving can change your life in an instant. Those who chose to drink and drive deserve to face the harshest consequences available under Illinois law. This is a 100% preventable crime. The negligence and disregard for human life is inexcusable.
If you were hurt by a drunk driver or someone you love was hurt or killed in a drunken driving accident, it is important to contact an experienced Illinois personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. The Illinois statute of limitations on drunken driving injuries is two years. Any delay in seeking legal advice from a qualified attorney could put your case in jeopardy. If your case is not filed within two years post-crash, it will be thrown out and you could lose your chance to recover damages. Attorney Christopher Dixon will aggressively protect your rights under Illinois law.
To find out whether you have a drunken driving injury claim, contact Illinois personal injury lawyer Christopher Dixon. Each case is unique and deserves a thorough evaluation. For immediate assistance, call 314-409-7060 or 855-402-7274 (toll free) for a FREE case consultation. There is NO FEE unless we win.