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5 Things to Know About Ignition Interlock in Illinois

Chances are, if you've been convicted of a DUI in Illinois, you will need to know about ignition interlock. "Ignition interlock" refers to a rather pesky kind of device that allows a DUI offender to continue to drive on a provisional license.

How does it work, exactly? First, the driver must find an authorized ignition interlock service to install the device into their car. Once installed, the driver must then blow into the device every time she wants to start her car. If the system registers her breath with no alcohol detected, then the engine will start. If there is any alcohol detected over approximately 0.00%, however, then the engine won't start.

Now that you know the basics, here are five other important things you should know about ignition interlock laws in Illinois:

  1. First-time offenders. In most states, the option of installing an ignition interlock device is only available for two-time offenders -- if someone has received two or more DUIs. Illinois, however, is far stricter and starts implementing these devices with first-time offenders.
  2. Other 'non-alcohol' Not only should drinking cocktails and beers be avoided before getting into a car, but the offender should steer clear of all other items that contain alcohol. This includes things like mouthwash, cough syrup, or hand sanitizer which can give the interlock device a false positive reading.
  3. You may have to blow more than once. Illinois uses a device called Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device ("BAIID"). With BAIID, the device may ask you to periodically blow into it, just to ensure that you are still sober while you're driving. This may occur on trips that are longer than 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Opting out or in. You have the option, under Illinois DUI law, of opting out of the ignition interlock device option as a first-time offender. If you don't opt out, you will automatically have to install it as part of your sentence. But, if you choose to opt out, you may be stuck with a traditional restricted license, in some cases for up to a year.
  5. Lawyer up. While alternative methods of fighting the law are ideal in certain situations, you shouldn't fool around with a DUI charge. A local, experienced lawyer can not only swiftly get you through what could be a painful process, but she can also explain to you what your options are regarding the ignition interlock device.

Most importantly of all, remember this: the only sure way to avoid an ignition interlock device is to never drink and drive!

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