Halloween marks another “No refusal” DUI sting taking place in Kane County. [Read more…]
In a show of legal sanity, some law enforcement agencies in Kane County are not willing to go along with “no refusal” weekend DUI enforcement programs pushed by prosecutors. [Read more…]
Even Illinois county prosecutors have questions and concerns about the implementation of Illinois’ tough new drunk driving laws, that goes into effect in January ’09.
In this article, prosecutors are openly skeptical about whether or not this requirement for Breath Alchohol Ignition Interlock Devices, will curtail people from driving. The BAIID doesn’t allow a person’s car to start unless they blow into a device – essentially a rolling breathalyzer – and pass the test.
One of the primary concerns is whether this law will actually reduced incidents of drunk driving. Will the people who are the most dangerous and most likely to continue to drive after drinking actually abide by the restriction? A person could either simply not get the device installed (and obviously not have a valid license) or could still borrow a vehicle from another person.
The Interlock system creates a large bureaucracy with the motor trade insurance around this law – and a significant profit center for BAIID installers and manufacterers, so it would be nice if everyone was confident it would help.
An additional concern raised by the DUI prosecutors in the article is the cost structure. Many courts have difficultly collecting fines and fees after DUI convictions as it is. There are numerous court fees and payments, including probation costs, that the court tries to collect.
Is this just setting poor and working class people up to fail? If a person absolutely has to drive to keep a job, does that mean he or she get an IID and skip paying court fees, that could result in a probation violation? Or do you skip the ignition interlock, and drive without one, risking a new criminal charge for that offense?
These concerns are legitimate, and everyone should be confident that the benefits of this new law will outweigh the costs and difficulties for the Illinois courts and our citizens.
Charged with drunk driving? For a free consultation on Illinois new DUI laws, please contact us today.
Starting on January 1, 2009, any driver convicted of a DUI / drunk driving charge, even a first offense, will be required to have a (BAIID) breath alcohol igntion interlock device in any vehicle he or she drivers.
Stats from recent IL news articles and also here that discuss this law include interesting facts, such as:
- The devices are calibrated to not start at a .025% BAC, which is the level of about 1 drink for an average sized person. (The legal limit for BAC in Illinois is .08%, so it is well below “intoxication” levels).
- Costs for the device will be about $1000. Presumably, that is over a year, including installation and monthly maintenance fees (including regular downloads of logged data on every use).
- It is estimated that 50,000 Illinois drivers will get one of these devices in 2009, if drunk driving conviction numbers are consistent. That is a huge number.(
- Driving vehicle without an interlock if your license requires it will result in a separate criminal charge (a Class 4 Felony) and a mandatory minimum 30 days in jail.
More info: Here is an official press release on the new Illinois BAIID laws.
The new Illinois DUI law which goes into effect on Jan, 1 2009 will require an ignition interlock device to be installed on any vehicle used by a person convicted of a DUI in Illinois, even on a first offense. As one of the toughest DUI laws in the nation, this ignition interlock device requirement will replace the existing Judicial driving permit program.
The current judicial driving permit (JDP) allows those guilty of first offense DUI law violations to drive on a limited basis to work and other locations approved by a judge and the Illinois Dept of Transportation (IDOT). The new program requires ignition interlock devices that prevent your vehicle from starting if you have consumed alcohol. It tests your breath for alcohol consumption with an attached mobile breathalyser, known as a ignition interlock device (IID). The former judicial driving permit will now be a monitoring device drivers permit. If you have a monitoring device drivers permit, operating any vehicle without such a device will be a new criminal charge.
Ignition interlock devices are typically set to prevent your ignition from operating if it registers a .02% BAC. The legal limit for alcohol consumption is .08%. The devices will require occasional “rolling retests” to make sure you don’t have a drink after successfully starting your car.
The new ignition interlock device requirement will be paid for by the offender. Costs estimates are about $200 for installation, and $100/month for maintenance, monitoring, and data reporting.
If you are facing a DUI charge in Illinois, please contact out defense attorneys for a free legal consultation and case evaluation. These new laws may change how you choose to respond to a charge of DUI in Illinois. The prospect of a required Ignition interlock device and restricted monitored driver’s permit could be a problem for many people who need to drive different vehicles to make a living. This may mean that you should consider fighting your DUI charges in some cases. Please contact us for help evaluating your defense options for an Illinois DUI charge.
The Chicago Tribune recently wrote about new approaches to combating drunken driving. The article cites the fact that drunken driving rates n Illinois have been flat for the last 10 years. This suggests that additional punishments and stricter laws have not impacted the rate of drunken driving in Illinois, or nationally, and that new approaches to the problem are needed.
Illinois has adopted a strict, first offense ignition interlock device requirement for drunken driving convictions. An ignition interlock prevents a person from starting their car if they cannot blow into a breathalyzer device and register a clean, alcohol-free sample.
Most states now mandate these alcohol ignition devices for 1st offense charges. The hope is that known drunk drivers that are more likely to have an alcohol addiction problem, and may continue to drive drunk will be stopped at the point of the offense, before it starts.
Of course, there are serious criticisms of a first-offense drunken driving conviction mandate. A threshold of .08 BAC is not very high, Breathalyzers have known flaws, and convictions for Drunken driving charges are often easy to get, since most people plead guilty to reduce license suspensions, and immediately be able to drive with a judicial driving permit.
It is also possible that when these first-offense drunken driving ignition interlock requirements go into effect, the number of people taking drunken driving cases to trial in Illinois may increase significantly, in an effort to beat the case and avoid the interlock requirement.
Other innovative techniques to work to reduce drunken driving is increased treatment for alcohol of offenders. Illinois now has two special DUI courts. These are a relatively new phenomenon, based on the success of drug courts in focusing on drug addiction and treatment instead of just punishment. The DUI courts are dedicated to careful monitoring and supervision of alcohol abuse treatment and education programs. Initial results from DUI courts in other states like Michigan have shown promising results in reducing the destructive and dangerous behavior of drunken driving caused by alcohol addiction.
It is a positive development to see Illinois trying some different approaches to stop DUI / drunken driving, though it remains to be seen what the results will be.
A recent national drinking and driving survey stated that 16.5% of Illinois residents admitted to driving while “under the influence of alcohol”. The national average was 15.1%. The Midwest region tends to be the highest area of admitted drinking and driving.
Both numbers seem very high, which raises serious questions about how the survey was conducted, and how the question was asked. “Under the influence of alcohol” may mean very different things to different people. It could mean under the influence of a safely, reasonably, and legal amount of alcohol in many cases.
The survey didn’t specify legally impaired under the law. If the question had been asked “Have you committed a crime of DUI and gotten away with it” I’m sure the answers would have been different.
Is Illinois really a state where more than 15 out of 100 people are admitted lawbreakers?
Surveys like this are certainly good for business for MADD, crusading anti-drunk driving legislatures, and manufacturers of ignition interlock devices. But do they really help inform or protect the public, and does the result of the outcry actually reduce drunk driving rates?
For help with an Illinois DUI charge, please contact us for a case evaluation and free legal consultation.