Several years ago the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Illinois police have partnered to raise awareness about buzzed driving. The goal was to reduce the instances of injuries and fatalities associated with driving while slightly impaired with alcohol. What distinguishes buzzed driving from drunk driving is the level of measurable alcohol impairment, with buzzed driving, of course, being at a much lower level. Levels of legal impairment vary by state but in Illinois drunk driving is with a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or above and buzzed driving is anywhere from .01-.07 percent.
The reason for the increased interest and focus on such driving is because studies have supported the idea that most alcohol-related accidents are caused in the buzzed state. A University of California study found that buzzed drivers were forty-six percent more likely to be solely blamed in auto accidents against sober drivers. Surprisingly, the level of punishment for such drivers is often not much more than those for sober drivers in accidents. One possible conclusion from the study is that there is no level of safe driving when one has been drinking. The problem seems to stem from setting a limit at all. Courts treat the state impairment limit for drunk driving as if it is a meaningful boundary when in fact it is extremely arbitrary and alcohol impairment exists on a continuum. Many states are looking to reduce the level of drunk driving impairment based on studies such as these.
States are making efforts to curb such driving, especially around the holidays when buzzed driving is the most likely to occur. One tactic is setting up police road checks at popular intersections. They may be less likely to drive impaired knowing they will have to pass a check. Other tactics include advertisements in many forms to alert people before a holiday that police will be focusing on finding impaired drivers.
This article is for general informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice. Do not rely on the above information as all cases are different and different laws apply to different cases. Consult an attorney in your area for further guidance.