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How Might Legislation Making the Installation of Devices Designed to Prevent DUI Mandatory in All Cars Affect People in Illinois?

In cases in which a person is convicted of a DUI charge, the sentencing court will require the person to mount an ignition interlock device in his or her car. Ignition interlock devices and other devices that aim to restrict drivers from driving while intoxicated typically are reserved for instances in which a court feels a person poses a threat to society, and therefore, will impinge upon the person’s rights. Recently, however, there have been movements in several states to introduce legislature at a state and federal level that will require all drivers to be equipped with devices that are intended to prevent driving under the influence. Currently, it is unclear whether such efforts will be successful or the impact such laws could have on DUI charges. If you charged with a DUI in Illinois, though, it is in your best interest to consult an Illinois DUI defense attorney regarding your rights and the potential penalties you may face if convicted.

Recent Efforts to Prevent Drunk Driving in Michigan

Recently, a congresswoman from Michigan proposed that the Democratic House Infrastructure package include a provision mandating that the Department of Transportation install in passenger vehicles systems designed to prevent drunk driving. Those in favor of the act argued that it would diminish preventable deaths. Additionally, companion legislation promoting research and development of technology that would detect the presence of alcohol on a driver’s breath was proposed in the Senate. Proponents of both bills argue that such technology is akin to installing airbags in cars, and would not impose a significant burden. While the parameters of the proposed technology have not been defined, it is likely that it will include ignition interlock devices and cameras.

Risks of Mandatory Drunk Driving Prevention Devices

While no one is opposed to preventing harm caused by drunk driving, there are risks associated with installing interlock ignition devices and other similar apparatus in all new cars. First, such devices arguably both impose a penalty on and diminish the privacy rights of people who have not committed any crime, without just cause. Further, there is a high risk of false readings for people who have recently consumed certain non-alcoholic foods or beverages.

Drivers who are unable to operate their vehicles due to false readings may be left stranded, which can present a risk of other types of harm. Additionally, there seems to be no proposed solution to resolve the fact that older cars would not have such interlock ignition devices, which would most likely reduce the effectiveness of the technology overall.

Finally, many people in Illinois who were previously convicted of DUI crimes are only permitted to drive because they have interlock ignition devices installed in their cars, and it is uncertain how any proposed law would affect their rights or the penalties imposed on people found guilty of DUI offenses going forward.

Speak with a Trusted Illinois Attorney

If you are charged with a DUI in Illinois, it is in your best interest to speak with an Illinois DUI defense attorney regarding your rights. Attorney Theodore J. Harvatin, of the Harvatin Law Offices, PC, is a trusted DUI defense attorney who will work tirelessly to help you seek a favorable outcome. You can reach out to Mr. Harvatin through the form online or at 217.525.0520 to schedule a meeting.

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