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Clearing up the Interlock Ignition Device (IID) Confusion

An Interlock Ignition Device (IID) is a machine that is internally connected (“interlocked”) into your motor vehicle’s ignition. Unless you blow into a tube that runs to the machine and blow below a predetermined breath alcohol level (BAL), your vehicle will not start. Furthermore, to ensure that you did not have someone else blow on your behalf just to get you on the road, you must retest at given intervals while the vehicle is moving (“rolling retest”) or the vehicle will stall.

For the purpose of Illinois DUI law there are two types of driving privileges that stem from an IID.  One of these is known as a Breath Alcohol Interlock Ignition Device (BAIID); the other, a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP).  Both of these permissions to drive require use of the same type of IID, but which of the permissions applies depends upon the status of your Illinois driving privileges.

This requires an understanding of the differences between driver’s license suspensions and revocations and between administrative sanctions and criminal consequences. A suspension represents a temporary removal of your driving privileges for a specified period of time. When the suspension time ends, your driving privileges will be restored upon payment of the appropriate fee, unless your driving privileges are otherwise invalid.

The driver’s license suspension that stems from a DUI arrest is known as a Statutory Summary Suspension (SSS).  A police officer suspects you of DUI.  The officer will ask you to take a breath or blood test to determine your BAL.  You can refuse or you can agree.

If you agree and register at or above the legal limit of .08, or if you refuse to provide the sample, you face an SSS unless the judge finds that there are legal grounds to rescind the SSS.  If your suspension is for six months or if you refuse the test and are suspended for twelve months, you are eligible for an MDDP during all but the first thirty days of the suspension.

There are no restrictions on when, where or for what purposes you may drive on an MDDP provided any vehicle you operate has an IID.  Every 60 days, the results of your breath sample blows are downloaded and provided to the Illinois Secretary of State.

Violations of the program (registering .05 or more or evidence of a pattern of positive readings below .05 but indicative of alcohol consumption) will result in a three month extension of your SSS/MDDP and in the future, your reporting periods will be every 30 days. After two or more violations within a reporting period, a third violation will result in the Secretary of State notifying the State’s Attorney, who may then impound your vehicle for thirty days. A fourth violation can result in the seizure and sale of your vehicle.

You cannot have an MDDP if you are suspended for twelve months even though you took the test or if you are suspended for three years.  People in these situations have had a DUI in the prior five years and thus are not eligible for the MDDP.

The SSS is an administrative sanction. In other words, you cannot be fined or jailed for refusing the test or blowing over .08.  They can only suspend your driver’s license.

If you are convicted of the DUI, you are guilty of a crime. In that case, your driver’s license will be revoked for a given period of time.  Any driving relief–whether for a lmited permit (known as a Restricted Driving Permit, or RDP) or for a full license–requires you to have a hearing with the Secretary of State to prove you will be a safe and responsible driver.

The RDP only allows you to drive for limited purposes, during restricted days, hours and distances. In most cases the RDP requires you to install an IID. In this case, the permit is known as BAIID. BAIID violations will result in cancellation of the RDP if you are an alcoholic or a hearing to explain the violation if you are not alcoholic.

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