DUI Laws - What are the Legal Limits?
Did you know that it was once legal to drive a vehicle in certain states with a Blood Alcohol
Level (BAC) of .14? You may wonder why it is almost half that amount now. To be blunt,
the answer is politics, safety and money - and not necessarily in that order.
Quite a number of states used to apply a BAC limit of .15 to any drivers within its borders.
This .15 BAC limit was actually recommended by the American Medical Association, experts in the
field of medicine and chemistry. In fact, the .15 BAC limit was not even considered absolutely
intoxicated, the way .08 is today, but it was considered "presumed" intoxicated, which meant
the driver could rebut this evidence. In court rooms today, if a driver is at .08 BAC he cannot
rebut the evidence, he can only prove the evidence is wrong.
From 1980 forward, political pressure to lower the legal limits was unprecedented on legislative
bodies everywhere from groups like M.A.D.D., or Mothers Against Drunk Drivers. The initial
political push resulted in most states adopting the BAC limit of .10. When that lower limit
did not result in a sufficient amount of convictions for DUI, M.A.D.D. and other similar interest
groups, push for the limits to go even lower.
In the year 2000, Congress established a national standard of .08 percent alcohol concentration
as part of a large transportation funding bill. This required all 50 states to lower their
limits to .08 by the year 2004 or risk losing millions and millions of dollars in highway and
transportation funding. States had their hands forced and now we see the .08 BAC limit everywhere.
While M.A.D.D. has been successful in lowering limits, it's mission seems to have gone from eliminating
drunk driving to eliminating alcohol. Within just 5 years of founding the organization, Candy
Lightner, resigned, stating that MADD "has become far more neo-prohibitionist than I had ever
wanted or envisioned … I didn't start MADD to deal with alcohol. I started MADD to deal with
the issue of drunk driving." Source: The Washington Times, Article date: August 6, 2002.
Consuming alcohol by any individual has its own distinct effect. To reach a BAC of .08, the
amount of alcohol it takes by one person may differ from another. Many factors weigh into
the alcohol concentration levels, including how many drinks were consumed, how strong the drinks
were, how much an individual weighs, what the individual had to eat and when, the gender of the
individual and the individual's rate of metabolism.
It is important to retain an attorney who is highly experienced in Illinois DUI law. In addition,
your attorney must be familiar with the county in which you are charged. Your Lee County DUI
Attorney may be able to challenge various portions of summary suspension. In addition to challenging
the suspension, your Lee County DUI Attorney may able to have the criminal case dismissed or reduced from a DUI.
the State to Find a DUI Attorney in Your Area
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