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Ignition Interlock Devices in Illinois

Posted on in DUI

ignition interlock device, illinois DUI defense attorneyA DUI conviction in Illinois can mean a licenses suspension of up to one year for a first offense. However, if you agree to have a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device installed in your vehicle, you can stay on the road.

How It Works

Colloquially known as a “blow and go,” a BAIID is essentially a portable breathalyzer that is connected to the vehicle’s ignition switch. A fuel cell inside the device analyzes the driver’s breath sample. If the alcohol concentration is above a predetermined level, the fuel cell triggers a relay to remain open, and the vehicle will not start. In Illinois, as in most other jurisdictions, that “predetermined level” is .025.

Additionally, the driver must submit to random rolling retests. Generally, for safety reasons, the car does not stop right away in the event of a failure, but it will not restart after the ignition is turned off.

Driving without a required BAIID is a Class 4 Felony, which is the same penalty as driving with a suspended license.

Nuts and Bolts

The driver must pay all the fees associated with the device, including an initial installation fee, monthly device rental fee and monthly monitoring fee. The amount varies, but is usually around $100 down and $100 per month.

The Secretary of State conducts monitoring by reviewing the BAIID’s records every 60 days. If there was a violation(s), the SOS will request an explanation. If the driver does not respond, or if the SOS is not satisfied by the explanation, the suspension period is extended for 90 days per violation. Three extensions may result in a 30-day vehicle impound; four extensions may result in a vehicle seizure and forfeiture.

Concerns

There are some Eighth Amendment concerns. Although this provision is generally associated with capital punishment, the same logic applies here. The BAIID is certainly “unusual,” at least in the ordinary sense of the word.

It would be much less intrusive for a small device to measure when someone is driving the car and for the offender to be issued a portable breathalyzer. If there was a violation while the car was running, the state could take steps against the person’s license.

A DUI conviction means ongoing punishment. For a free consultation with a criminal defense attorney in Northbrook who routinely handles DUI matters, contact our office.

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