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Ignition interlock devices: How do they work?

If you have been pulled over by a law enforcement officer on suspicion of drinking and driving, you may be charged with a DUI. If convicted, you may be faced with a range of penalties, including fines, loss of driver's license and mandatory use of an ignition interlock device. Illinois law requires even first-time DUI offenders to have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicles. According to the Office of the Illinois Secretary of State, approximately 12,000 drivers are using IIDs at any given time in Illinois. These devices are designed to keep people from committing another drunk driving offense while allowing them to get to where they need to go.

Once you have obtained a monitoring device driving permit and have had the IID installed in your vehicle, you must blow into a tube connected to the device in order for your car to start. A camera attached to the dashboard monitor is required, and will alert officers to any potential violations. As you are driving, you will be alerted to blow random breath samples into the device to keep the car going. If at any time your blood alcohol content level reads over the preset limit, an alarm will sound giving you time to pull over and turn off the car. All information regarding failed attempts to start the vehicle, failed rolling retests and any other violations are recorded within the device and are sent to officials during your maintenance appointments.

This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice. 

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