In Illinois, an individual with a BAC between .05 and .08 may be charged with a DUI if additional evidence shows the driver is impaired. People tend to concentrate on the 0.08 BAC standard, but Illinois law 625 ILCS 5/11-501 lays out the many ways in which a person is considered “driving under the influence,” including:
- driving with a blood alcohol content of .08 or above; 625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(1)
- driving under the influence of alcohol to a “degree that renders the person incapable of safely driving,” or; 625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(3)
- operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs; 625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(4)
If an officer suspects that you have been drinking they may ask you to perform field sobriety tests and/or submit to a breathalyzer. When you perform these tasks the officer will judge your balance, motor functions, and ability to follow simple directions.
You can face DUI charges if you fail these tests (or show signs of intoxication) and your BAC is between .05 and .08 percent. Currently, Illinois law is that a driver with a BAC between 0 and .05 is presumed to not be impaired. BAC levels between .05 and .08 there is still no presumption of impairment, but a DUI can be issued if a law enforcement officer finds a driver is actually impaired. With a BAC over .08 a driver is presumed to be impaired and is charged with a DUI.
In DUI cases where the BAC is less than .08 but greater than .05, the key issues at trial will be what other factors were present that would indicate a Defendant is impaired. Such factors typically are things such as how a defendant drove, their ability to speak and think clearly, their ability to stand and balance, odor of an alcoholic beverage on their breath, and how they performed on field sobriety tests if they agreed to perform them.
Penalties for a DUI escalate dramatically with subsequent violations of the law, it is highly recommended you contact an experienced attorney who can protect you and your rights, explain the court process, explain collateral consequences and try and achieve a result with the least possible punishment, or no punishment at all if you were wrongly accused. Attorney John Callahan has a proven track record of success in DUI cases both at trial and in negotiations.