href=”http://www.cdc.gov/MotorVehicleSafety/Impaired_Driving/impaired-drv_factsheet.html”>statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 36 people die and 700 people are injured in car and truck accidents involving a drunk driver every day. People seriously injured or killed in car crashes caused by drunk drivers often have clear civil actions against the drunk driver for negligence; however, recovering damages from the negligent driver is often difficult. Which is why it is critical to consult with a top personal injury lawyer regarding your case.
The National Transportation Safety Board defines an alcohol-impaired driver as a person behind the wheel of a vehicle, whether a car, motorcycle or other vehicle, who has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.08 grams per deciliter or higher. In Illinois, the legal BAC level is .08.
Studies have shown that a BAC of 0.08 severely limits a driver’s ability to steer, break, change lanes, change gears, judge speed and distance. Such lapse judgment can lead to severe, if not deadly, vehicle accidents. An experienced Chicago car accident lawyer will investigate both the law and the facts of your case to prove the other driver was impaired and caused the accident.
Every year, the Illinois Secretary of State office produces a DUI Handbook. The 2009 DUI handbook provides a summary of illegal BAC limits in Illinois, such as 0.00 for both bus drivers and drivers under the age of 21, a chronology of a DUI arrest as well as penalties for those convicted of DUIs and other useful information. It also includes a page about a new law that took effect January 1, 2009.
The new Illinois law requires any first time DUI offender to have what is called a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) installed on his or her vehicle as a condition of being able to drive a vehicle, or what is called driving relief. A BAIID functions like breathalyzer. The driver must breath into the device, which checks for alcohol content and only allows the driver to start the vehicle only if the driver’s alcohol concentration is less than a predetermined, preprogrammed level.
Even if you have a clear case of negligence after being injured or killed in a car or truck accident caused by a drunk driver, collecting damages from the drunk driver can be difficult. Often, the most reckless drivers carry the least amount of insurance. An experienced personal injury lawyer has a thorough understanding of the laws available to recover against uninsured and underinsured drivers.
For a free consultation with one of our attorneys, call Passen & Powell today at (312) 527-4500.