Why Are People Driving Drunk in Chicago?

Now that it is 2016, it may seem like no one drives drunk anymore. After all, campaigns highlighting the dangers of drunk driving accidents have been getting publicity for decades now and each passing year increases the alternatives to drunk driving, including the recent addition of ride share programs like Uber in the Chicago area. Yet the fact remains that drunk drivers are on Illinois’ roads every day of the year, at all times of the day and in all types of weather.

Once a motorist is behind the wheel and drunk, it can be difficult to protect public safety. Instead, the most effective efforts to curb drunk driving stem from preventing drunk drivers from ever entering a driver’s seat of a car, eliminating their presence on public roadways and protecting not only their own safety but the safety of others. To do this, it is helpful to understand why people drive drunk in the first place.

Trying to understand the rationale behind driving after drinking can seem like a straight forward quandary but the reality is much foggier. When surveyed, motorists disclose a wide range of factors that led to them drink and drive and some could not even recall the actual deciding factor, if one existed. The following are some common reasons cited by drunk drivers who either are apprehended by police or who self reported their impaired state at a later point in time:

  • Unaware of Impairment: Believe it or not, a surprising number of drunk drivers who are stopped by the police claim that they were unaware they were impaired. In Illinois, impairment is presumed when a driver has a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher which often means that two or three drinks in an hour can put a driver over the limit, depending on sex, weight, and other factors. Something as simple as having a second glass of wine with dinner may seem innocent but could be a serious risk to public safety if that person later chooses to drive.
  • Lack of Transportation: Some drunk drivers claim that they had to get home and had no means other than driving to do so. In Chicago, this is never a good excuse as the city buses, trains, taxi cabs, ride shares, and even walking can be good options for the intoxicated to get around town without driving themselves personally. Using a designated driver or calling a friend to pick you up can also help if you have a vehicle with you and you have been drinking.
  • Decreased Decision Making Skills: Alcohol is a depressant which means it impairs an individual’s ability to think, make decisions, and assess safety risks, among other things. As a result, someone may never think driving drunk is a good idea but then reconsider after they have been drinking. In the haze of alcohol, bad decisions can seem reasonable or even smart and may lead an impaired motorist to get behind the wheel.
  • Disregard for Rules: An unfortunately large number of drunk people simply do not care that they are impaired and will take to the roadways despite their conditions. These drivers disregard local and state rules that make driving under the influence a crime and they do what they perceive to be in their own best interests, not in the best interests of society at large.
  • Other Reasons: Some drivers are so intoxicated that they cannot remember why they drove drunk – or even where they were traveling.

If you were the victim of a drunk driving accident in Illinois and you were injured, know that you may be entitled to seek financial compensation for your damages which can include any medical expenses you incurred. If you would like a free case consultation, call the personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. toll free at (855) 529-2442 or locally at (312) 924-7575 today. There is no obligation on your part for speaking with us and we have a lawyer standing by 24 hours a day to speak with you.

If you have questions, call Abels & Annes, P.C. now and let us provide you with the answers you deserve.

Prior Blog Entry:

85,000 Children Under Age 5 are Unintentionally Poisoned Annually, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published March 25, 2016.

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