In Illinois, intoxication is measured primarily by your blood
alcohol concentration (BAC). If you have a BAC of .08 or higher, you
are considered to be intoxicated no matter how drunk or sober you feel.
If you have a BAC of .05 to less than .08, you are not automatically
considered intoxicated, but you could still be charged with DUI if
there is additional evidence that can demonstrate impairment on your
part. If your BAC is less than .05, you are off the hook.
However, if your BAC is .16 or higher, Illinois law classifies you as
extremely intoxicated. Because people who have this much alcohol in
their bloodstream pose an especially great danger to society if they
attempt to drive, Illinois has a special category of DUI charge called
"driving while under the extreme influence." This charge carries
enhanced penalties if you are convicted.
How many drinks does it take to reach the danger zone? That depends on
many factors, including body weight, whether or not you've had anything
to eat, and how fast your metabolism is. Since it's difficult to
predict how these factors will interact, it's difficult to predict how
many drinks you can have before you reach the legal limit. When it
comes to drinking and driving, it's far better to err on the side of
caution and have a designated driver or take a cab!
An Illinois DUI conviction will change your life, and not in a good
way. Overnight, you can go from a respectable citizen to someone with a
criminal record that will haunt you for years to come. You'll also have
to pay heavy fines and can expect to lose your driving privileges for