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DUI Arrests Increase During the Holidays

 Posted on November 16, 2023 in DUI

IL DUI lawyerAs the holidays approach, people have more time off to spend with family and friends. With more time for socializing, people often increase their consumption of alcohol. While you may feel like you can still drive responsibly, many people have made that same assumption with tragic outcomes.

If you have been arrested for drunk driving, you need the experience of a Joliet DUI defense lawyer to represent you.

Holiday DUI Statistics

Drunk driving is an increasing concern during the holiday season. While you may think that you will never drive impaired, it is easy to lose track of your alcohol consumption during the holidays.

Nationwide statistics show the following:

  • In 2020, there were 11,654 people killed in drunk driving crashes, with the holidays contributing to 209 of these fatalities.
  • 35% of traffic deaths each Thanksgiving can be attributed to an intoxicated driver.
  • Christmas and New Year’s Eve are considered the most dangerous holidays to be on the road.
  • In 2020, 39% of traffic deaths over the Christmas holiday and 49% of traffic deaths over the New Year’s holiday involved an intoxicated driver.
  • An estimated 750 people died in motor vehicle crashes between Christmas and New Year’s of 2022.

Drunk Driving and Impairment in Illinois

Police officers can pull motorists over if they are showing signs of impairment. Illinois law requires drivers to automatically consent to alcohol and drug testing, whether it be a breathalyzer, urine sample, or blood test. For drivers that are 21 years of age or older, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08g/dL.

Drivers under the age of 21 are subject to “zero tolerance laws,” which makes it illegal for them to drive with any alcohol in their system. If a minor’s BAC is at a detectable level (at least 0.02g/dL), then the motorist can be arrested for a DUI.

Driving impaired and a person’s BAC are two different things. Even if you are driving under the legal limit but are showing signs of impairment, you could be arrested for a DUI. Signs of impairment may include swerving, switching lanes erratically, not following traffic signals, or any combination of these.

In Illinois, you can be charged with a DUI if your BAC is between 0.05 and 0.08g/dL at the time of your traffic stop and you appear impaired. Whether it is your first offense or you are a repeat offender, it is crucial that you speak with a Will County DUI defense lawyer.

How to Prevent Drunk Driving During the Holidays

If you plan to gather with family or friends, take the following precautions:

  • Plan ahead: if you think you may be drinking, plan to stay the night or have a designated driver drive you home (a designated driver must commit to not drinking for the entire celebration)
  • If you drink but you need to get home, take an Uber, Lyft, or other rideshare
  • If your friend is impaired but plans on still driving, take away their keys
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact law enforcement
  • If you feel different, do not drive

Arrested for a DUI? Contact a Joliet, IL DUI Defense Lawyer Today

Being arrested for a DUI is always stressful but can be far more traumatic during the holidays. If you have been arrested for a DUI, reach out to our Will County, IL, DUI defense lawyers. Contact McNamara Phelan McSteen, LLC online or by calling 815-727-0100 to schedule your free consultation. 

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