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Understanding Illinois’ ignition interlock device laws

| Aug 1, 2020 | Firm News

Illinois counts itself among a number of states that require you to install a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device on your car following a conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol. Even if it is your first time receiving such a conviction, you still must finance and install the device, and Illinois BAIID devices also have to have cameras that film you blowing into the device before driving.

What is a BAIID, and how does it work?


An ignition interlock device is something that you pay a service provider to install on your vehicle that seeks to prevent you from driving under the influence. Before you may start and drive your car, you must blow into the device and provide a breath sample it deems suitable.

When you do, you should be able to fire up your car and drive as normal. If the device finds that there is alcohol on your breath, it prevents your vehicle from starting. Device providers also report violations to the state, meaning you may face additional consequences for violations. Your BAIID may also go off periodically while you drive, indicating that it is time to provide a new sample. Typically, you have a set amount of time to pull over and do so.

The license suspension period

You must install a BAIID if you are eligible for driving relief during the suspension period that follows your initial drunk driving conviction. You must also obtain a Monitoring Device Driving Permit in order to drive. During this time, you have the freedom to travel by car as you wish, provided you only drive a vehicle that has a BAIID installed in it.

If you drive a vehicle that does not have a BAIID during your suspension period and authorities find out, you may face a Class 4 felony charge. The same holds true if you drive during your period of suspension without first obtaining an MDDP.