In Chicago, the warm summer months have given way to cooler fall weather. This can mean only one thing: soon it will be the holiday season. While children prepare their Halloween costumes and treat bags, many adults are preparing for holiday parties and work get-togethers. A good percentage of these holiday events will involve alcohol.
It is no wonder that alcohol-related car accidents occur more frequently during the holidays. Research shows that approximately 300 people die in car accidents involving alcohol in the week between Christmas and New Year’s every year. Drunk driving not only puts your life and the lives of the other motorists on the road in danger, it also puts you at risk of receiving a DUI (driving under the influence). Being charged with a DUI can mean losing driving privileges or even spending time in jail.
Do Not Assume You Can Tell When You Are Too Intoxicated to Drive
Most people know that the legal limit for blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08 percent. However, many people do not realize what 0.08 percent BAC feels like. They may incorrectly assume that they are not legally impaired if they do not feel drunk. The reality is that it is nearly impossible to gauge how intoxicated a person is just by how they feel or act. Some people who are legally impaired may only show subtle signs of drunkenness while other individuals begin slurring their words or stumbling after only a few drinks. Many factors can influence a person’s BAC including
- Weight and body type;
- Rate of alcohol consumption;
- Medications – especially those which cause drowsiness;
- How strong or weak the drinks were;
- Emotional state;
- Stomach contents; and
- Alcohol tolerance.
Even if you have gotten away with it before, never assume that you are safe to drive after drinking. The best way to avoid a DUI and the possibility of causing a car accident is to never drink and drive.
Impaired Driving is Against the Law
Another misconception about DUIs is that a motorist can only be charged with a DUI if he or she had a BAC of over 0.08 percent. However, in Illinois, you can still be charged with a DUI even if your blood alcohol content is under the legal limit, if you are “impaired”. You will need a skilled attorney to contest any DUI arrest in court.