For a driver in Illinois, particularly if driving is part of your job, a drunk driving conviction can be a serious matter. Aside from the potential fines and even prison time, you could have your driver’s license suspended or revoked, leaving you unable to get around. It could even cost you your job. While you may be able to apply for a limited license allowing you to get to work, if your job is centered around driving, your employer might decide you are too much of a liability.
However, rare as these instances might be, there are times when you may end up driving drunk, even though it is not something you would normally do. Fortunately it is something that the law takes into account. There are several ways this can happen, although you will need to show that they apply if you want them to help your case.
One of the more common circumstances is that someone simply has no idea that they have ingested alcohol. This can happen if someone spikes your drink, or you are unaware of alcohol mixed into something you eat or drink. A similar line of defense can apply to prescription medication if you can show that you had every reason to believe that its effects had worn off before you drove.
Another case that is taken into account, as this article on DUI explains, is if you are forced to drive drunk to prevent a greater evil or to escape death or serious injury. Your life and safety is important, so the law is generally prepared to consider a genuine need to drive while intoxicated if it is for the preservation of that safety and you have no other choice.
If you have been charged with drunk driving, an attorney can help you to understand whether any of these lines of defense could work for you. He or she may also be able to assist you during your trial and help you work toward avoiding conviction.