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Breath Alcohol Interlock Ignition Device (BAIID) not always required for Illinois Driving Under the Influence (DUI) convictions

Not every person who has a Driving Under the Influence conviction (DUI) is required to have the Breath Alcohol Interlock Ignition Device (BAIID) (“breath machine” or “blow machine”).

The Breath Alcohol Interlock Ignition Device (BAIID) comes into play in many but not all Restricted Driving Permit (RDP) and reinstatement cases. The purpose of the machine is to detect alcohol on your breath.

If you are issued an RDP and are required to have a BAIID, you must hire a licensed installer to place the BAIID in any vehicle you intend to operate while the permit is in effect. The vehicle will not start unless you blow into a tube that is connected to the motor vehicle’s ignition system.

In addition, while the car is moving, at random intervals you will be required to blow into the tube. The results are stored electronically in a computer chip that is part of the BAIID machine.

On a monthly basis, the results of the readings are electronically transmitted to the Secretary of State. If there are alcohol readings, the Secretary of State will mail you a letter requesting an explanation.

If the explanation is acceptable, that is the end of the inquiry. If the Secretary of State rejects the explanation and you are classified as alcohol dependent, the Secretary of State will cancel the permit or license. In that case, he will not give you a hearing to request a new license or permit for a year unless you successfully contest the cancellation by persuading a hearing officer that the alcohol readings and resulting cancellation were in error.

If you are not alcohol dependent, the BAIID unit will place a note in your file that they rejected your explanation. At the hearing for full reinstatement of your license, the questioned reading or readings will be discussed and a decision made about whether to reject or accept the explanation.

The cost of the machine is your responsibility. The Secretary of State receives $360 up front and the installer usually charges $110 a month or thereabouts. Failure to pay these fees may result in cancellation of the RDP.

For the most part, someone with two DUI arrests must have a BAIID installed. However, if the first arrest did not result in a conviction and occurred more than 10 years before the second arrest, BAIID does not apply. If you have had two convections, regardless of how far apart in time they occurred, you must have a BAIID machine for 365 consecutive days, even if your license is fully reinstated.

Out of state residents are not subject to the BAIID program, regardless of their driving record. However, out of state DUI arrests do count towards determining whether an in-state resident is BAIID required.

A BAIID will not function on a motorcycle. Therefore, if you are required to have BAIID, you may not operate a motorcycle as long as the BAIID requirement is in effect.

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