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ignition interlock, summary suspension, Lake County criminal defense attorneyDrunk driving may, in some ways, be a relic of the past—it is not common for a person to get behind the wheel of car when he or she has been drinking and to not recognize that what he or she is doing is illegal and dangerous. Awareness about the danger and irresponsibility of drunk driving has steadily increased since the early 1990s when states began to launch serious campaigns to deter drunk drivers and police forces around the country cracked down on drunk driving offenses. Yet the problem has not, to any real extent, been eradicated, and in fact, numbers tend to fluctuate from year to year. In 2012, for example, there was a significant increase in the number of fatalities resulting from drunk driving, that after 2011 when the death toll fell below 10,000 for the first time.

That year saw a 3.3 percent increase in fatalities, causing some activists to call for ignition interlock devices to be installed in the car of every convicted drunk driver across the country. In Illinois, a person convicted of drunk driving may apply, during the period of statutory summary suspension of his or her driving privileges, for driving relief, and choose to have a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) installed in his or her vehicle. If a person convicted of drunk driving chooses to have the BAIID installed in his vehicle during that period of license suspension, there are no other stipulations regarding his driving rights—he is allowed to travel, even interstate, providing that the BAIID is installed.

Not all convicted drunk drivers are required to install the BAIID, however. A person may opt to adhere to the mandatory suspension period. Yet if the person is then caught driving the vehicle, whether or not he has been drinking, he is guilty of a Class 4 felony. Punishment, if you are a convicted drunk driver and caught driving without an ignition interlock device during the license suspension period, includes possible imprisonment of 1–3 years, a minimum of 30 days in jail or 300 hours of community service, and fines as high as $25,000.

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dui breathalyzer test, Illinois DUI defense attorneySince the beginning of the New Year, law enforcement officers have a new tool to collect evidence against DUI suspects in nearby Lee County. Although Illinois is an implied consent state, which means that drivers gave consent to a chemical DUI test when they signed their drivers’ licenses, motorists can still refuse to take a breath, blood or urine test when asked to do so. In that case, the officer needs a search warrant to perform the test.

Lee County police have now worked out an arrangement with the State’s Attorney’s office to obtain search warrants electronically in as little as 20 to 30 minutes. For now, the new policy applies only to felony DUIs and those with aggravating circumstances, such as minor children in the car or a motor vehicle accident.

In 2014, there were three fatal reckless homicides involving alcohol and drugs in Lee County.

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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.

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The City of Des Plaines has reached an agreement with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and will be paying the agency $92,000 over some members the Des Plaines Police Department allegedly faking the numbers of DUI arrests in order to receive grant money issued by the IDOT. According to a report in the Chicago Tribune, the Des Plaines Police Department was awarded both state and federal grant money for both seat belt enforcement and DUI campaigns.

The IDOT grant program, the Sustained Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP), requires that both the numbers of DUI arrests, as well as the blood alcohol levels of those arrested, be submitted. By submitting that information, a police department is then reimbursed for equipment, mileage, and police officer overtime pay.

An internal investigation by the city revealed that some officers falsified those numbers and discovered 122 arrests submitted between 2009 and 2012 did not exist. However, IDOT awarded the Des Plaines Police Department an extra $132,893 that they would not have received without those false reports.

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