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What Are Illinois' Ignition Interlock Laws?

You will become very familiar with Illinois ignition interlock laws if you are ever convicted of a DUI. Here is a quick overview of the requirements:

Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID)

Illinois uses the BAIID, a device that is installed directly into an individual's car. In order to start the car, the individual will be required to blow into the device. If your blood alcohol level is below 0.025 percent, then your car will start just fine. However, if your blood alcohol content is above this amount, your engine will "lock." Furthermore, the device will send out information to the authorities that you tried to start your car after having drank some alcohol.

It should be noted that your car will lock at 0.025 percent even though your blood alcohol level is still below the legal driving limit of 0.08 percent.

When You Need to Install the Device

Illinois has some of the toughest ignition interlock laws in the country. First-time drunken driving offenders must install the device in their car if they want to drive during their suspension period. This is unlike many states which only require someone with two or more DUI convictions to install the ignition interlock device.

How Long Must You Use BAIID?

You must use BAIID for the duration of your suspension period -- if you wish to drive. Typically, the suspension period is six months for someone who failed a Breathalyzer test, and 12 months for someone who refused to take a Breathalyzer.

Keep in mind that if you try to start your car with a blood alcohol level above 0.05 percent, this information may cause your suspension period to be increased (or you could lose your driving privileges completely).

Illinois ignition interlock laws are notoriously tough. Besides being a nuisance, you should also be aware that there are fees and costs associated with installing the devices that can cost hundreds of dollars.

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