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New Bills Could Require Ignition Interlock Devices for First Time DUI Offenders

Individuals convicted of DUI offenses encounter a range of civil and criminal consequences. While the penalties imposed vary by state, they often include the mandatory installation of ignition interlock devices on their vehicles for repeat offenders. Recently, advocates and legislators have indicated that they intend to introduce bills that would require such devices to be installed in vehicles for first-time offenders as well. If you are faced with DUI charges in Illinois, seeking advice from an experienced Illinois DUI defense attorney is prudent, as they can provide insights into potential defenses and navigate the complexities of DUI laws.

The Proposed New Laws

It is alleged that drunk driving activities and policymakers are actively promoting more stringent anti-DUI laws, with a nonprofit organization at the forefront of efforts to revive a bill that would mandate the installation of anti-DUI devices in the vehicles of offenders. Notably, existing laws do not currently apply to first-time offenders. This initiative comes as part of a broader push for enhanced safety measures, especially concerning impaired driving. One advocate is motivated to effect change due to a personal tragedy; she is working with a local organization to prevent others from enduring similar losses.

It is reported that the advocates anticipate the envisioned technology will be a game-changer, employing smart car features that extend beyond traditional breathalyzer devices. They are optimistic that this advanced technology could signify the “beginning of the end of drunk driving.” Notably, President Biden’s federal infrastructure bill includes provisions that require anti-drunk driving technology in all new cars starting in 2026. The bill has already been signed into law.

Illinois’ Ignition Interlock Rules

Under Illinois law, ignition interlock devices are mandated for specific DUI offenders under the Monitoring Device Driving Permit program. First-time DUI convicts can seek a Monitoring Device Driving Permit, enabling them to drive with an installed ignition interlock device throughout the statutory summary suspension period.

The obligatory use of ignition interlock devices for initial DUI offenders seeking driving relief during suspension is contingent on the blood alcohol concentration level at the time of arrest. If the BAC surpasses 0.15%, they must have the ignition interlock devices for six months, whereas a BAC between 0.08% and 0.14% results in a one-month ignition interlock devices mandate. People with multiple DUI convictions or those with prior statutory summary suspensions may be subject to ignition interlock device requirements for a Restricted Driving Permit or full reinstatement of driving privileges. Non-compliance with the ignition interlock devices stipulation can lead to license suspension or other punitive measures.

Meet with an Experienced  Illinois DUI Defense Attorney

In conjunction with possible fines and incarceration, individuals convicted of DUI offenses may also encounter restrictions or suspensions of their privilege to drive. If you are facing DUI charges, it is in your best interest to seek legal counsel to understand your possible defenses. Attorney Theodore J. Harvatin of the Harvatin Law Offices, PC, specializes in DUI defense and possesses the experience needed to assist you in building strong arguments in your favor. To schedule a consultation, you can contact Mr. Harvatin at 217.525.0520 or use the online form to arrange a meeting.

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