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Illinois’ Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device Laws

Man using breath alcohol test

One of the most challenging aspects of being charged with a DUI in Illinois is figuring out how to get to work or school while your license is suspended. Fortunately, some drivers will be eligible to receive a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP). This permit allows drivers who have received a statutory summary suspension of their license to continue driving during the suspension period when using a car with a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) installed. Learn how these devices work, the associated costs, and who is eligible to receive one, below.

How do BAIIDs work?

A BAIID works by requiring the driver to submit to a breath alcohol test before being able to start their vehicle. If the results of the test show that the driver has a blood alcohol level of .025% or more, or the driver doesn’t submit to the test, then the vehicle will not start. To ensure that the person blowing into the BAIID is the DUI-convicted driver and not a passenger, Illinois BAIIDs also contain a camera which will take a photo of the driver while completing the breath test. The BAIID will also require the driver to complete random tests throughout the drive to ensure that the restricted driver is the one who is completing the tests.

Who is eligible to receive a MDDP and BAIID?

A first time-DUI offender over age 18 may apply for a MDDP to allow them to drive while their license is suspended. A driver is considered a first-time offender and eligible to receive a MDDP when they have not:

  • In the past five years had their driving privileges taken away under a statutory summary suspension (an automatic license suspension for failing a blood alcohol test by blowing over the legal limit, refusing to complete a blood alcohol test, or failing to complete a blood alcohol test)
  • Been convicted of a DUI or assigned court supervision for a DUI in Illinois, or
  • In the past five years, been convicted of a DUI in another state.
  • Caused great bodily harm or death in conjunction with the DUI arrest.

The Illinois Secretary of State will review data downloaded from the BAIID every 60 days. If the data reveals that a driver attempted to start the car with a blood alcohol level over .025%, then the driver will have to explain the incident to the Secretary of State, and may have their license suspension extended, or lose their driving privileges.

If a driver who has an MDDP is pulled over while driving a vehicle that doesn’t have a BAIID installed, they can be charged with a Class 4 felony.

How much does it cost to have a BAIID?

There are substantial fees that drivers should expect to pay for their BAIID, in addition to the other fees and costs associated with a DUI conviction. That said, drivers whom a judge has ruled “indigent” (i.e., unable to afford the costs of a BAIID) could receive state assistance with these costs. Drivers can choose from among a list of state-certified BAIID vendors, each of which provides installation and maintenance of the device at different price points. On average, drivers should expect to pay:

$85 for installation of a BAIID

$80/month for BAIID maintenance

$30/month, payable in advance, in fees to the Illinois Secretary of State

While a BAIID may be helpful if you have your license suspended, the better move is to avoid a DUI conviction in the first place. If you need help fighting DUI charges before the Markham Courthouse or Bridgeview Courthouse, contact the dedicated and effective Homewood DUI defense lawyer John Fairman for assistance with your case, at 708-799-4848, or in Bridgeview at 708-960-4806.

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Lee & Fairman, LLP, has offices in Homewood and Bridgeview, IL and Indianapolis, IN and serves clients in and around Chicago, Indianapolis, Worth, Elmwood Park, River Grove, Melrose Park, Stone Park, Franklin Park, Lincolnwood, Robbins, Schiller Park, Elmhurst, Oak Brook, Hinsdale, Clarendon Hills, Westmont, Amf Ohare, Villa Park, Darien, Evanston, Niles, Lemont, Morton Grove, Downers Grove, Lombard, Park Ridge, Golf, Addison, Lisle, Glen Ellyn, Elk Grove Village, Wilmette, Woodridge, Kenilworth, Des Plaines, Cook County and Du Page County.

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