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Aurora drunk driving accident attorneysCar accidents are inevitable with human error. However, the likelihood of an accident is significantly higher when the driver behind the wheel is under the influence of alcohol. Approximately one-fourth of all fatal car accident victims in Illinois in 2016 were alcohol-related. There were also 29,528 DUI arrests in the same year, as reported by the Secretary of State’s office. A drunk driver perceives the road differently than a sober driver, and sometimes defensive driving is not enough to protect yourself.

What Is A DUI?

A DUI, or Driving Under the Influence, is when a person is operating a motor vehicle while under a mind-altering substance. DUI’s are most known for alcohol offenses, but they also include:

  • Drugs,
  • Marijuana,
  • Methamphetamines.

Whether a person is operating a vehicle illegally depends on the concentration of the substance in their system. A person is considered under the influence of alcohol in Illinois if their Blood Alcohol Content is .08 or more. A person with a lower level of alcohol in their system can still be charged if their driving is affected by the substance.

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Kane County personal injury lawyersThere are currently eight states—plus Washington D.C.—in which recreational marijuana has been legalized. A substantial number of other states have decriminalized low-level possession of marijuana, implemented legal medical marijuana programs, or both. Illinois is one of those that has done both. The increasingly lax laws regarding marijuana use have led many to wonder what the impact will be on public safety. Two recent studies that seem to contradict each other offer a fairly reasonable insight into the effect of legalized marijuana on the rate of car accidents.

More Accidents

The first study was conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and looked at insurance claims for crashes filed between 2012 and 2016. In 2012, Colorado and Washington became the first two states to legalize recreational cannabis use for adults over the age of 21. The researchers looked at those two states along with Oregon and compared their accident claims with neighboring states that did not legalize recreational use. The study estimated that crash rates were about 3 percent above what they would have been if marijuana had not been legalized. While the increase is not dramatic, it is statistically significant, according to the study.

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Aurora personal injury attorneyEach and every day in the United States, an average of 28 people die in an automobile accident involving an intoxicated driver. This accounts for nearly one-third of all U.S. traffic accident deaths each and every year. Designated driver commercials and campaigns and even free ride services are in place to prevent such tragedies, yet 1.5 million people are arrested for driving over the legal limit during any given year. To help raise awareness and show the real consequences of drunk driving, more than 600 Illinois residents recently participated in a race to honor one victim.

Made the Right Choice but in the Wrong Place at the Wrong Time

The young man, a former Heartland Community College and Illinois State University student had been out drinking with his friends the night of the accident that took his life. But, unlike the driver that hit him, he had ridden with a designated driver. He had made the right choice but, ultimately, had been in the wrong place at the wrong time and still became a victim of a drunk driving accident.

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