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How common is drunk driving in Illinois?

It would be easy to think that drunk driving could be nearly eliminated given crackdowns by law enforcement and increased media coverage of the dangers of driving while intoxicated. Yet far too many drivers still drink and drive, putting Chicago motorists in the line of fire.

But just how common is drunk driving in Illinois? According to statistics from the Illinois Department of Transportation, in 2015 the Illinois State Police conducted 6,584 DUI arrests, averaging nearly four arrests for each sworn officer. In Chicago alone, 2015 saw more than 3,300 drunk driving arrests. Some counties and cities saw almost eight DUI arrests per officer per year, while others had less than one per officer per year. The difference could be based on a number of factors, but one thing is certain: there are thousands of drunk drivers on Illinois' roads.

When one of these drunk drivers causes an accident resulting in injuries, a victim might suffer serious losses. Physical pain and suffering can take months or even years to recover from, and financial damage in the form of medical expenses and lost wages can be stressful and life-altering. As overwhelming and unfair as such circumstances can be, the legal system may be able to provide relief.

If an individual can prove that a driver who caused an injurious accident was intoxicated, his or her intoxication caused the accident, and injuries were suffered as a result, then compensation may be recoverable from that negligent driver. To succeed on such a claim, though, a victim needs to put together a legally sound case, which may require legal assistance.

Source: Allegiance Against Intoxicated Motorists, "2015 DUI Counts," accessed on July 23, 2016

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