Please note that this article relates solely to DUI laws in Illinois as of January of 2009
After a DUI conviction in Illinois, new laws require that a breathalyzer device be installed in the car of those convicted. This breath-alcohol ignition-interlock device will only allow the engine to start if the driver registers a blood-alcohol content below 0.024. Those convicted of a DUI have 14 days to get the devices installed in their car dashboards.
Drivers who register a 0.08 or higher blood-alcohol level when they are arrested are required to drive with the monitoring devices for 5 months. If a driver refuses to be tested for alcohol and is later convicted of a DUI, he must use the device for 11 months. The device costs the driver $80 for installation and $110 a month for rental and administrative costs.
These breath-alcohol devices also require drivers to be tested periodically while the car is running. After the initial test, the driver must blow into the device again within the first 5 to 15 minutes of a trip, and then at least twice per hour. If at any point it detects a blood-alcohol content above 0.024, the device warns the driver to pull over, and it stops the engine. It sends a report to the secretary of state’s office for review and further sanctions will occur. These additional tests ensure that the driver is the person blowing into the device, and not a sober friend.
If a driver convicted of a DUI is caught driving a car that does not have this device, there is a maximum penalty of 3 years in prison.
Before these laws were passed, drivers convicted of a DUI for the first time lost their licenses for 30 days and had to ask judges for judicial driving permits so that they could still drive for work, school, medical treatment, or alcohol treatment. Now, first-time offenders still lose their licenses for 30 days, but this ignition-lock device replaces judge-issued driving permits.
Much of the rest of DUI law has not changed. If a driver in Illinois is pulled over with a blood-alcohol level 0.08 or more, his or her license will be suspended for 180 days; this suspension goes into effect 46 days after the arrest. If the driver’s blood-alcohol content is between 0.05 and 0.08, the officer may still cite the driver for a DUI if his or her behavior suggests impairment; this is at the officer’s discretion. A BAC between 0.05 and 0.08, does not constitute an automatic license suspension. In addition, a conviction is still punishable by jail time at the discretion of the Judge.
These new laws were passed January 1, 2009 and can be found in the Illinois Vehicle Code, 625 ILCS 5, Section 1-129.1and 625 ILCS 5, Section 6-205.
If arrested for a DUI it is extremely important that you seek an attorney who focuses their practice on criminal defense and has defended numerous DUI’s in the county where your case is going to be handled.