Buzzed drivers in IL may be the cause of catastrophic car accidents

The Illinois legal limit is 0.08 percent; however, studies show that drivers with a BAC of as low as 0.01 percent can cause devastating car accidents.

Motorists who drive with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or above in Illinois are considered intoxicated and can be arrested for a DUI. However, drivers who have a BAC below 0.08 percent can present hazards for other motorists on the road as well. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Illinois experienced a 15 percent increase in their drunk driving fatality rate in 2012. That year, approximately 34 percent of all fatal car and truck accidents were attributed to drunk drivers. With these high statistics, driving while intoxicated has become a major problem for Illinois motorists.

What is buzzed driving?

Fox News reported details of a study showing that people who drive with a BAC of 0.01 percent are 46 percent more likely to be held responsible for causing a car accident than a driver with a BAC of zero. The study, which was published in Injury Prevention journal, studied the information from over 570,000 motor vehicle accidents that occurred within a 17-year period. The results helped to show that alcohol impairment takes place at levels below 0.08 percent, and that individual differences can make these levels hard to measure. People who feel like they are able to drive after having a few drinks may end up causing serious car accidents, resulting in death or life-changing injuries.

Effects of buzzed driving

While peoples' BAC may be below the legal limit of 0.08 percent, the alcohol in their system may have serious physiological and psychological effects on their ability to drive. According to MADD, motorists with a BAC of 0.02 percent may experience the following:

  • Drivers have a decreased ability to visually track rapidly moving targets.
  • Drivers may suffer from an altered mood.
  • Drivers have a decreased ability to engage in two tasks simultaneously, including talking on a cellphone while driving.
  • Drivers may have difficulty making sound judgments when it comes to controlling their speed, paying attention to the road and responding to hazardous driving situations.

As a drunk drivers' BAC increases to 0.05 percent, they may have a hard time focusing their eyes and steering.

The effects of drunk driving car accidents can be catastrophic. Not only do they have the potential to cause severe physical and emotional trauma, including paralysis, traumatic brain injuries and broken bones, but they can claim the lives of those involved in the accident. People, who have experienced the painful repercussions of a driver's poor decision to drive while drunk, should contact an attorney in order to explore all of their legal options.

Keywords: drunk driving, accident, injury