Most people know that it is against the law to drink and drive. Anyone who is caught operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated can be charged with driving under the influence (DUI) and lose their driving privileges. In most circumstances, DUI laws are straightforward. A person who has a blood alcohol content (BAC) of over 0.08 percent is considered intoxicated and cannot legally operate a car. However, there are some circumstances where individuals have been charged with a DUI, and they did not even know they were breaking the law! It is critical for every citizen to fully understand both DUI laws and their rights as an Illinois citizen.
You Can Be Charged with a DUI Without Being Over the Legal Limit
If you are like most people, you probably did not realize that there are some circumstances where a driver can have a BAC under the legal limit and still be charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or if you are under the age of 21, have your license suspended. Everyone knows that it is illegal to consume alcohol if you are under the age of 21. Unfortunately, we all know that most young people experiment with alcohol before they are old enough to do so legally. If a person under the age of 21 drinks and drives, the consequences can be severe and life-altering. Illinois law states that an underage person caught driving with any trace of alcohol in their system can be charged with a zero tolerance suspension and have their license suspended up to a year. And in some cases, whether you are under the age of 21 or not, the Prosecutor can still choose to prosecute you for DUI even if you were under the legal limit of a .08
Noticeable Impairment Is Enough to Arrest Suspected Drunk Drivers
Circumstances that can result in a DUI charge even with a blood alcohol content under the legal limit is when a driver is noticeably impaired. For example, say an officer notices a vehicle which is swerving between lanes or otherwise driving erratically. The officer pulls the car over and begins speaking to the driver. The driver is slurring his or her words and has watery, bloodshot eyes. The officer asks the passenger to step outside of the vehicle and notices that the driver cannot even walk straight. In a situation like this, the driver could be charged with a DUI even if his or her BAC is under 0.08 percent. It is in situations like these, where an experienced DUI lawyer can make the difference in a conviction or a not guilty verdict.
Charged with a DUI? Let Us Help.
If you have been accused of drunk driving, seek help from a qualified Will County criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. To schedule your free, confidential consultation at the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba, call 815-740-4025 today.