The state of Illinois has instituted a statute which states that people with a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher are considered to be legally intoxicated. That’s the point where Illinois feels that a driver’s judgment and ability are so impaired that he or she constitutes a substantial danger to others. And the higher a person’s blood alcohol content, the cloudier and more suspect the individual’s judgment becomes.
An incident this weekend in Chicago provides an excellent illustration of this fact. Early Saturday morning around 12:45am, a 42-year old man was driving north on North Central Avenue on the city’s Northwest Side when his car struck a parked car and then veered into a group of pedestrians who were waiting to cross the street. A 32-year old woman and a 36-year old woman were hospitalized with a brain bleed and a fractured hip, respectively. But a 38-year old man died at the hospital later that morning.
The driver sped away from the auto-pedestrian accident but then crashed into another car that had stopped at a red light over a mile away. The police officers who found him said that the driver continued to press down on the gas pedal in an apparent attempt to drive away from the second crash site. The 42-year old man was arrested and charged with aggravated driving under the influence after his blood alcohol content was measured at .20. The man, who was also charged with driving on a suspended or revoked license, told police that he had smoked marijuana and drunk three glasses of brandy before he got behind the wheel.
The two injured women have solid grounds to file personal injury lawsuits against the 42-year old man. In addition, the family members of the man who died can also file a wrongful death lawsuit against the suspected drunk driver.