DUI - What .08 Means to You

Drive Sober.jpgSince 1997, the legal limit of intoxication in Illinois is a .08 BAC (Blood Alcohol Content). In fact, .08 is the legal limit in all 50 states.

A person's BAC is determined by the amount of alcohol in the body compared with the total volume of blood. .08 is no arbitrary number. Years of medical and scientific research have shown that .08 BAC is the level at which driving skills are proven to be impaired.

Research also shows that states with a .08 BAC experience a significant decline in alcohol-related crashes, injuries and deaths. They do so primarily because .08 makes all motorists, even habitual drunk drivers, far more reluctant to drink and drive.

Exactly how fast you reach a BAC of .08 is a tough question. It varies from person to person. The effect of alcohol on an individual is determined primarily by two factors: the amount of alcohol consumed and the rate at which it is absorbed by the body. Other contributing factors include gender, body weight, alcohol tolerance, mood, environment and the amount of food consumed. As you can see, there is no hard and fast rule that you can depend on to figure your BAC. There are tables and calculators that you can learn from, but they are not a defense for DUI. Click here for an online calculator to estimate your BAC.

Sobering Up

The only way to rid the body of alcohol is time. Fresh air, coffee, showers and food cannot help a person sober up. (Almost everyone has heard the expression "The only thing that coffee will do for a drunk is give you a wide awake drunk." It's true.) It takes about one hour for the body to metabolize one drink. Each of the following has comparable amounts of alcohol and count as one drink: one 12-ounce beer, one 5-ounce glass of wine or one 1.5-ounce shot of hard liquor.

DUI Facts

Want to learn more about DUI? Would you like some real facts? The Illinois Secretary of State's office a great, current fact book available on-line.

A Sobering Fact

For now, we'll leave you with this fact.... If the dangers of DUI aren't enough to convince you, remember this - the average cost of a DUI in Illinois is $18,030.00!