What are ignition interlock laws in Illinois?

Many Illinois residents may not think much before getting behind the wheel after having a couple of alcoholic drinks. Though they may know that a blood alcohol content level more than .08 means that the driver can result in a DUI conviction and a six-month driver’s license suspension, they may think that they have not had enough alcohol to reach that limit. However, they may find themselves in hot water, especially in Illinois which has some of the strictest drunk driving laws in the country.

Under Illinois law, a first time offender faces serious consequences, such as license suspension up to one year for refusal to take a breath test if pulled over and six months for drivers who fail a breath test, imprisonment and a monetary fine. In addition to this, Illinois is one of the few states that require an ignition interlock for first time DUI offenders. They must pay for and install a breath alcohol ignition interlock device if they want to drive during the time their driving license is suspended as per statutory law.

A driver cannot start his car without first breathing into the ignition interlock. The device is installed in a car’s ignition, as the name suggests. If someone has a blood alcohol level of .025 or higher (much lower than the legal limit in Illinois), their car will not start. In addition to this, the driver has to give breath samples throughout the trip to ensure that someone else is not blowing into the device.

A DUI conviction has serious ramifications for the drunk driver. Not only are they left without any means of transport for a number of months, they also have to pay for public transport to get around. A conviction stays on one’s records and can affect college and employment opportunities. It is important to mount an aggressive DUI defense against DUI charges and an experienced attorney may be able to help people defend their rights.