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Ignition Interlock Devices in Illinois

If you have been convicted of driving under the influence, you will likely need to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle in order to be allowed to drive. If you are required to install such a device, it's critical to know the implications of the device, as well as the penalties for failing or attempting to evade the test. The team of DUI attorneys at Dolci & Weiland are committed to providing the information you need to know about your ignition interlock device.

What is an Ignition Interlock Device?

The Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID or IID) is a piece of equipment which is installed in a person's vehicle and measures the level of alcohol in a person's body. If the person's blood alcohol content (BAC) is higher than the device allows, the interlock device will prevent the car from starting.

To use an ignition interlock device, a person blows into the device when he or she gets into the vehicle. If alcohol is detected, then the car will not start, and the individual must wait and try the test again after a waiting period. The beginning of your drive isn't the only time that you will be subject to BAC testing; the device can also require a "rolling retest," which is a random test which must be submitted to at any point while the vehicle is running. This test is designed to ensure that a person does not drink at any point after taking the initial test.

When Does an Ignition Interlock Device Come Into Play?

After a DUI arrest, a first-time offender can apply for a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP), which allows you to drive with the installation of an ignition interlock device. This permit allows you to drive until your period of suspension has ended.

Second DUI and third-time DUI offenders are also subject to monitoring by an ignition interlock device if they plan to regain their driving privileges. This system is a requirement for those who wish to have their full driving privileges reinstated, and must remain the car for a minimum of five years in order for a full reinstatement of the person's license.

Ignition interlock systems are also a requirement for restricted driving permits (RDPs) which is a permit issued to individuals who must travel to work, school, or other approved obligations such as taking family members to receive medical treatment. This is called a "restrictive" permit for a reason--attempting to drive somewhere other than an approved location can lead to additional penalties by the state.

Whatever the circumstances, if you plan on driving after your DUI arrest, you will at some point come into contact with an ignition interlock device in your vehicle--if you decline the device, you will be unable to drive during your suspension or revocation period. This prohibition should be taken seriously, as driving without an ignition interlock device after a DUI arrest is a felony offense, and can lead to imprisonment.

How to get an IID Installed

If you have been issued an MDDP following a DUI conviction, Illinois DUI law requires you to have an ignition interlock device installed in any vehicle that you plan on driving within the period of time that you have your restricted license. In addition to this time restriction, you are also required to purchase your IID from a company approved by the state. Unless you are deemed to be indigent, you will bear all of the costs of this process, which include fees for the machine itself and monitoring fees collected by the Secretary of State.

You will also be required to take your vehicle in for device service periodically. Device services are also required if:

  • You are unable to start the vehicle more than ten times in a row;
  • You blow a BAC of .05 or more within a period of 30 minutes; or
  • The device detects attempts to tamper or circumvent the test.

How Illinois Courts Monitor IID Use

When you blow into an ignition interlock device, the results of the test will be forwarded along to the court for review. The Secretary of State's office obtains information from the ignition interlock device every 60 days. Violations detected by the state will result in a warning letter to the permit holder, and failure to respond with a reasonable explanation for the violation can result in an extension of your license suspension.

As the device monitors your blood alcohol content, this also means that courts will know when you have enough alcohol in your system to keep the vehicle from turning on.

Penalties for Misuse of Ignition Interlock Device

If you have had an ignition interlock device installed in your car, the best thing that you can do is refrain from drinking before driving. When it comes to tricking the device, you're unlikely to have much luck--ignition interlock devices are designed in a way that the devices can detect a person's attempt to bypass the machine. In order to prevent a driver from having another person take the test on their behalf, these devices are equipped with cameras to identify the person who is blowing into the machine.

Courts will also be able to detect if you fail to install the device or try to remove the device after installation because the court will be updated with the device's blood alcohol content readings.

Tampering with the device can have serious consequences, from a cancellation of your permit to a two-year extension of your driver's license's suspension.

Facing a DUI in Illinois? We're Here to Help

Whether you have been charged with driving under the influence in the state of Illinois or are facing issues related to an ignition interlock device, Dolci & Weiland's team of criminal defense attorneys are standing by to offer the legal assistance you deserve. Alcohol-related offenses are a big deal in Illinois, and it's important to seek help as soon as possible after your charge.

You should never try to fight a DUI charge alone, and with Dolci & Weiland by your side, you don't have to. To speak with a member of our legal team about your charge, fill out an online case evaluation form or contact the office closest to you today--for our DuPage location, call (630) 261-9098, or for our downtown Chicago office, call (312) 238-9007.