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Illinois Ignition Interlock Laws -- One of the Toughest Around

One of the best ways to stop drunk drivers is to take away their ability to drive drunk. With Illinois ignition interlock laws, this is exactly what the legislators hoped to do to repeat DUI offenders.

The Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) is a device that is installed into someone's car that requires the driver to provide a breath sample prior to starting the vehicle. If you have a blood alcohol level of below 0.05 you are fine and will be allowed to start the car. Anything higher and your car won't work.

Since Illinois started using BAIIDs, the state reports that repeat DUI offenses have decreased a dramatic 90 percent.

Given the success of the program, in 2009, Illinois created arguably the most stringent ignition interlock laws in the country requiring even some first DUI offenders to install the device.

In many states, only drivers with two or more DUI convictions are required to install a BAIID. But in Illinois, first time DUI offenders wishing to drive during their suspension period must install the device. The suspension period is usually six months for those who failed a Breathalyzer test and 12 months for those who refused to take a Breathalyzer.

So if you had a drink following installing the BAIID and tried to start your car, that information will be recorded by the device and you could see your suspension period increased or you could have your driving privileges revoked completely -- even for not driving at all.

Illinois ignition interlock laws are notoriously tough. However, because the devices work, they are probably here to stay.

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