Illinois is is recognized by MADD as a national leader in its fight against drunk drivers. As we approach the Holiday season, many of us will be attending Holiday Parties. Enjoying good food, conversation and a cocktail or two with family and friends . This is a normal celebration for many. Unfortunately, some individuals choose to drink and drive. Making this decision can change the lives of many forever.
If you have followed my past blog posting, then you are aware that I was a victim of a drunk driver over 25 years ago. I have spent over two decades supporting boards and organizations that strive to make tougher drunk driving laws. The main goal at hand of all these groups, are to make our roads a safe place for all.
As a Chicago injury lawyer and a victim of a drunk driver, I know that the roads can be a dangerous place for even the most cautious driver. One negligent or impaired driver can change an individual's life forever. In a blink of an eye, this happened to me, and it can happen to you. While reading the on line news last week, I came across a headline that made me smile. The headline summarized that according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving the state of Illinois has been recognized as a leader in the country for its actions taken against drunk drivers.
Many ask the question, what exactly is “Driving under the Influence? According to the law, it is when one is operating or driving a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol or other intoxicating substances. According to Illinois law, a driver is considered legally under the influence if their a blood-alcohol concentration level (BAC) is .08 or greater. They can also be considered legally impaired if they have abused or taken any illegal substance or medication.
For over a decade, Jesse White the Illinois Secretary of State has worked to make our roads safe. Now one of the most influential drunk driving organizations has recognized his efforts on behalf of Illinois. As the Secretary of State he has implemented many programs and initiatives that have helped to decrease the number of alcohol related crashes. Let's take a look at one of the many programs, the BAIID initative. Many have no idea what this acronym stands for. This BAIID initiative or Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device requires the installation of a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) in the cars of first-time DUI offenders. The device prevents the offender from starting a motor vehicle if they are intoxicated or impaired. If the DUI offender installs a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) on their vehicle they can regain some basic driving privileges.
The program began in 2009, as a result the state has decrease in alcohol crash related deaths. The Illinois Department of Transportation reports that alcohol-related crash deaths have dropped by more than thirty percent since the BAIID implemenation. The statistics show that the alcohol related crashes have declined from 711 alcohol-related crash deaths in 1999, to 436 alcohol related crash deaths last year.
Thank you goes to all those involved in changing the laws to keep intoxicated motorists off the road. In the State of Illinois DUI is recognized as a violent crime. Victims of DUI are recognized as victims of violent crimes.
This blog is dedicated to all the drunk driving victims and families of drunk driving victims.
Source: Illinois gets highest rating from MADD Associated Press 8:47 a.m. CST, November 20, 2011
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