Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)
Blood Alcohol Content, or BAC, is defined as the amount of alcohol in a person’s bloodstream. Depending on your age and license type, there are certain BAC levels a person must be below in order to operate a motor vehicle.
- Under 21 – 0.00% Illinois has a zero tolerance policy for any person under the age of 21 operating a motor vehicle.
- Over 21 – 0.08% It is illegal for any person to operate a motor vehicle with a BAC in excess of 0.08%.
- Commercial License – 0.04% It is illegal for any person with a commercial driver’s license to operate a CDL vehicle with a BAC in excess of 0.04%.
Side Effects of Elevated BAC levels
Once alcohol enters the bloodstream, it begins it have an effect on the body. The below chart lists some of the common effects associated with certain BAC levels.
- 0.02-0.04 – Slight intensification of existing moods. Increased volume when speaking. Sense of happiness due to increased levels of dopamine in the brain. Body warmth. No depressant effects.
- 0.04-0.06 – Exaggeration of behavior and emotion. Decreased reaction time. Delayed motor vehicle coordination. Slight short-term memory impairment. Body warmth. Increased feelings of self-confidence.
- 0.06-0.08 – Some speech and balance impairment. Delayed reaction time. Increased moods of elation or depression. Impaired judgment and reasoning processes. Reduced visual acuity.
- 0.08-0.12 – Noticeable speech, balance, and coordination impairment. Increased memory impairment. Lack of self-awareness and consequence evaluation.
- 0.12-0.16 – Difficulty standing, walking and talking. Distorted perception. Severely decreased reaction time. Blackouts usually occur at BAC above 0.15.
- >0.16 – Confusion. Lack of bodily control. Difficulty moving without assistance. Slurred speech.
Penalties for DUI Arrest
There are different penalties associated with a DUI arrest. You may face increased penalties if you have an extremely high BAC or if you have previous offenses.
- First DUI – A first DUI is a Class A misdemeanor. The penalties include loss of your license for a minimum of six months, attending Alcohol and Drug Treatment, and attending a Victim Impact Panel. Additional fines and community service could be enforced if the driver’s BAC was over .16 or if a child was in the vehicle at the time of arrest.
- Second DUI – A second DUI is a Class A misdemeanor. The penalties include a minimum of five days in jail or 240 hours of community service. Revocation of driving privileges for one year, as well as the above mentioned Treatment and Victim Impact Panel. Additional fines or an upgraded charge may be sought if BAC was over .16 or if a child was in the vehicle at the time of arrest.
- Third DUI – A third DUI is a Class 2 felony. The penalties include a minimum of ten days in jail or 480 hours of community service. The penalties also include loss of driving privileges for a minimum of 5 years and all of the above mentioned sanctions. Mandatory fines from $2,500-$25,000 if driver’s BAC was over .16 or if a child was in the vehicle at the time of arrest.
Do I need to Submit to a Breathalyzer Test?
If you are pulled over for DUI the officer will ask if you want to submit to a breathalyzer test to determine your BAC. You have the right to refuse the breath test, but you will face some consequences. Because driving is viewed as a privilege, not a right, authorities have the right to ask you to consent to a breathalyzer. If you refuse, your license will be suspended for one year.
Aurora DUI Lawyer
If you have been pulled over for DUI in Aurora or the surrounding Chicago suburbs, call Appelman Law to make sure your rights are upheld – (630) 717-7801.