Since 1997, the legal limit of intoxication in Illinois is .08 BAC (Blood Alcohol Content). In fact, .08 is the legal limit in all 50 states.
A person's BAC is determined by the amount of alcohol in the body compared with the total volume of blood. .08 is no arbitrary number. Years of medical and scientific research have shown that .08 BAC is the level at which driving skills are proven to be impaired.
Research also shows that states with a .08 BAC experience a significant decline in alcohol-related crashes, injuries and deaths. They do so primarily because .08 makes all motorists, even habitual drunk drivers, far more reluctant to drink and drive.
Exactly how fast you reach a BAC of .08 is a tough question. It varies from person to person. The effect of alcohol on an individual is determined primarily by two factors: the amount of alcohol consumed and the rate at which it is absorbed by the body. Other contributing factors include gender, body weight, alcohol tolerance, mood, environment and the amount of food consumed before drinking. As you can see, there is no hard and fast rule that you can depend on to figure your BAC. There are tables and calculators that you can learn from, but they are not a defense for DUI. Click here for an on-line calculator to estimate your BAC.
The only way to rid the body of alcohol is time. Fresh air, coffee, showers and food cannot help a person sober up. It takes about one hour for the body to metabolize one drink. Each of the following has a comparable amount of alcohol and count as one drink: one 12-ounce beer, one 5-ounce glass of wine or one 1.5-ounce shot of hard liquor.
Click here to read some facts about DUI, including the average cost of a DUI conviction.