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Does Illinois Need Stricter Drunk Driving Laws?

6342526_s-300x200.jpg Each year, drunk driving takes thousands of lives. In Illinois alone, 335 were killed in alcohol-related car accidents in 2012. Moreover, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), drunk driving costs the United States $199 billion a year. With numbers this high, many people wonder whether drunk driving laws should be even stricter. In Illinois, the legal blood alcohol limit (BAC) is 0.08 for drivers over the age of 21, unless the driver has a commercial driver's license in which case the BAC is 0.04. Drivers under the age of 21 and school bus drivers have a BAC of 0.00. If a driver has a BAC over the applicable BAC, has used any illegal substance, or is impaired by medication, he or she is considered to be "under the influence" and may be subject to criminal or civil penalties. In 2013, Illinois was rated a "Five-Star State" by MADD - the highest possible rating from the group. Among the reasons for Illinois's top rating are its all-offender ignition interlock law and sobriety checkpoints. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the following have been found to be effective measures at curbing drunk driving:

  • Actively enforcing existing 0.08% BAC laws, minimum legal drinking age laws, and zero tolerance laws for drivers younger than 21 years old in all states.
  • Promptly taking away the driver's licenses of people who drive while intoxicated.
  • Using sobriety checkpoints.
  • Putting health promotion efforts into practice that influence economic, organizational, policy, and school/community action.
  • Using community-based approaches to alcohol control and DWI prevention.
  • Requiring mandatory substance abuse assessment and treatment, if needed, for DWI offenders.
  • Raising the unit price of alcohol by increasing taxes.

The CDC also recommends additional research regarding the following measures:

  • Reducing the illegal BAC threshold to 0.05%.
  • Mandatory blood alcohol testing when traffic crashes result in injury.

At Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish, our Chicago auto accident attorneys are committed to keeping Illinois motorists and their passengers safe. We seek maximum financial recovery from drunk drivers on behalf of auto accident victims and their families. If you were injured or a loved one died in an alcohol-related accident, contact the Chicago auto accident attorneys at Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish at (888) 325-7299 to schedule a free consultation to discuss a possible personal injury lawsuit. Additional Information:

  • ILLINOIS RECEIVES TOP MARKS FOR DRUNK DRIVING PREVENTION PROGRAMS
  • WHEN CAN A BAR OR RESTAURANT BE LIABLE FOR AN ALCOHOL-RELATED ACCIDENT IN ILLINOIS?
  • INCREASE IN TEEN DRIVING FATALITIES

  Steinberg Goodman & Kalish (www.sgklawyers.com) is dedicated to protecting victims and their families.  We handle medical malpractice, product liability, personal injury, wrongful death, auto accidents, professional negligence, birth trauma, and railroad law matters. Contact us at (888) 325-7299 or (312) 445-9084.

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