Police in Illinois say that a man taken into custody on drunk driving charges on Dec. 24 had a blood alcohol level of more than four times the legal limit. The 46-year-old Chicago resident is said to have recorded a blood alcohol level of .358 percent when breath tested by officers with the Riverside Police Department. Motorists are considered too impaired to operate their vehicles safely when their blood alcohol levels are .08 percent or higher.
According to police reports, officers were dispatched to locate the man after a concerned citizen called 911 to report his erratic driving. Police caught up with the man and pulled his car over at approximately 10:44 p.m. after allegedly observing his vehicle striking the curb several times and weaving between lanes. Officers say that they detected the smell of alcohol coming from the man’s car when they approached it and noticed empty beer cans and an open bottle of liquor inside.
Reports indicate that the man was then taken into custody on drunk driving charges and transported to a nearby police station for processing. However, the man was allegedly so intoxicated that paramedics were summoned to take him to McNeal Hospital to be treated for alcohol poisoning. Officers say that they performed the breath test on the man after he was released from hospital and returned to their custody.
Experienced criminal defense attorneys may challenge the validity of toxicology test results in certain situations, but they could choose to enter plea negotiations with prosecutors instead when the evidence against their clients is overwhelming. The penalties for driving with an elevated blood alcohol levelcan be severe, but prosecutors may be willing to reduce drunk driving charges in return for a speedy resolution when no other people have been harmed.