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Victim's BAC level is out of bounds

A 23-year-old woman from Bloomington, Illinois, was hoping to introduce evidence of a victim's blood alcohol content level during a trial's opening statements, but a judge ruled that this information could not be presented at this point. The woman was charged with aggravated driving under the influence, driving on a suspended license, failing to report an accident with injury, operating a vehicle without insurance and failing to reduce speed after causing the car accident that led to the death of another woman.

The female victim was 21 years old at the time of the fatal accident. She was walking near the intersection of Main Street and Washington Street in Bloomington. As she and her friend were crossing the street, the driver ran a red light and hit them. The driver reportedly went home after the accident and was later found to have a blood alcohol level of 0.265 and had tested positive for marijuana. The pedestrian had a blood alcohol level of 0.119, according to the coroner's report.

The McLean County Judge ruled that the victim's blood alcohol level is irrelevant at this stage of the proceedings, but he said that he might consider admitting it later in the trial. The defense attorneys on this case believe that this information may affect the accuracy of accident reconstruction reports, which base the walking pace of random pedestrians off of different variables.

If a drunk driver causes an accident, the victim or their family may be able to pursue economic compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit. Due to the complexity of these types of lawsuits, victims and their families might want to seek the legal counsel of an Illinois personal injury attorney.

Source:, "Lawyers barred from mentioning victim's BAC in fatal hit-and-run," Rachel Wells, March 15, 2013

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