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Distracted driving and common DUI penalty

| Jun 19, 2020 | Firm News |

For many people in Illinois, the loss of one’s driving privileges due to a driving under the influence offense may create significant hardships. Without the right to drive, a person may be unable to keep a job, for example. 

Some DUI defendants may reinstate their driving privileges even during a license suspension period by installing and using a breath alcohol ignition interlock device. In fact, the use of a BAIID may be mandated according to CyberdriveIllinois.com 

Basics of an ignition interlock device 

As indicated by the name, an ignition interlock device maintains a lock on a vehicle’s ignition. Unlocking the ignition requires a person to successfully pass a breath test confirming they are not under the influence of alcohol. Once cleared, the person may start and drive the vehicle. 

Once driving, a BAIID prompts a person to take additional breath tests. Many people do not know about this aspect of using a BAIID. A driver must complete these retests within a stated period of time lest their vehicle begin sending alerts like the sounding of the horn or flashing of the lights. Depending on the situation, a driver may be forced to complete the retest while actively driving. 

Retests and distracted driving 

A report by Car and Driver magazine highlights the danger posed by these rolling retests. They require a driver to take a hand off the wheel and their eyes away from the road. They must also direct their attention to the messages from the BAIID system to ensure they take and complete the test properly. Together, these create significant distractions for drivers.