DUI fatalities have decreased over past 2 decades

The state of Illinois implemented a 0.08 legislation for driving under the influence two decades ago. Since that time, the number of deaths related to DUI have dropped by nearly 43 percent. Now, all states are enforcing a 0.08 legal limit.

When the 0.08 law took effect back in 1997 in Illinois, the state was the 15th state to start implementing it. The year before this law took effect, a total of 534 people had passed away in DUI-related crashes that involved one driver or multiple drivers whose blood-alcohol levels were above 0.08. In 2015, over 300 people lost their lives in Illinois crashes involving alcohol impairment.

Police are continually trying to discourage drinking and driving throughout the state. This emphasis is especially pronounced during holiday weekends, such as Labor Day weekend. Motorists started seeing roadside checks statewide on Aug. 21 and should continue to see them throughout the month of September.

With law enforcement’s strict focus on driving under the influence in Illinois, being pulled over and arrested for drunk driving can understandably be frightening. After all, a DUI conviction can easily lead to a fine, time behind bars, and trouble renting a car or landing a desired job in the future. Fortunately, those facing drunk driving charges have the right to go to trial to fight these criminal charges aggressively. At trial, prosecutors must prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt before a conviction can happen. They may also strike plea deals with the prosecution in an effort to get more lenient charges and thus lighter sentences than what they would receive if found guilty at trial.

Source: nwherald.com, “Drunk driving fatalities down in 20 years since Illinois DUI law“, Alex Ortiz, Aug. 19, 2017

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