The national blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for driving under the influence (DUI) is .08 percent across the country. However, there’s also a lower BAC threshold for an Illinois DUI that can get you in just as much hot water. The determination for this lower BAC DUI is solely based on the behavior of the impaired driver after he or she starts acting “buzzed” and is a criminal charge based solely on the discretion of the officer on site.
Maryland, Colorado, and Illinois all have DUI statutes for anyone with a “buzzed” BAC of .05 – .08 percent who are caught driving dangerously. These statutes exist because alcohol affects everyone differently; you can be just as dangerous on the low end of that Illinois DUI spectrum as someone else with a higher BAC. Someone who is “buzzed” might feel empowered and lack inhibitions to the point that they take more risks. Because alcohol is also known to intensify moods (good or bad), this risk-taking behavior could cause major problems or accidents behind the wheel. As such, even a low-BAC DUI could mean you are required to install an ignition interlock device (IID), too. If the officer citing you believes that you are at risk to harm yourself or others, you may be charged with impairment and required to serve out probation with an IID, just to monitor your behavior and ensure the safety of everyone on the road, including yourself.
The best plan to avoid any type of Illinois DUI is one that shows you are a safe driver. That means planning for someone else to drive you home if you intend to drink, or calling a taxi or ride-sharing service if you just happen to have too much. Just remember that any BAC can be too much and having a ride home at the end of the night means you’re probably not being taken to jail for a DUI.