Illinois BAIID Program Helps DUI Offenders Drive Sooner

When alcohol plays a role in a person’s decision-making, the consequences can range from somewhat embarrassing to possibly deadly. Among the most dangerous alcohol-related decisions one can make is to get behind the wheel of car while intoxicated, a choice that is not only unsafe, but also highly illegal. Those who are caught making such a mistake once , if they were fortunate enough not injure anyone while driving under the influence, may be eligible to participate in Illinois’ BAIID Program, which can reduce the punitive effects of a DUI.

What is a BAIID?

Blood Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device, or BAIID , is an apparatus which, when installed in a DUI offender’s vehicle, is integrated into the vehicle’s electrical system. Similar to a breathalyzer, a BAIID determines blood alcohol content (BAC) by measuring the alcohol present in a person’s breath. The device, however, will not allow the car to start without the driver first blowing into the BAIID and registering a BAC under the legal limit.

Who is Eligible for the BAIID Program?

In Illinois, statutory suspension of a DUI offender’s driver’s license is handled by the Office of the Secretary of State. The same office is responsible for maintaining driving relief programs that help DUI offenders continue to work, attend school, and provide for their families after their arrest. Such efforts led to the implementation of the Monitoring Device Driving Permit , for which a first-time DUI offender may apply to participate in the BAIID program.

To qualify for the Permit and the BAIID program, a first-time offender must:

  • Be 18 years old or older;
  • Have not received a previous statutory summary suspension, been convicted of DUI, or have been under court supervision for DUI in Illinois in the last 5 years;
  • Have not been convicted of DUI in any other state in the last 5 years;
  • Have an otherwise valid driver’s license;
  • Not have caused “death or great bodily harm” by driving under the influence; and
  • Not utilize the Permit for operation of a commercial vehicle.

Those approved for the program must cover the installation costs and monthly fees associated with the BAIID. First time DUI offenders can begin driving on the first day of their suspension, provided they have complied with the BAIID program in obtaining the driving permit and provided they have the BAIID device installed in the car. Offenders who do not meet the requirements or voluntarily choose not to participate in the BAIID program may not drive any vehicle for any reason during their suspension and doing so can result in increased penalties.

Legal Help for DUI Charges

While the BAIID program has certainly proven beneficial for first-time DUI offenders, the program has been expanded to include more repeat offenders. Therefore, if you have been charged with driving under the influence, you may have more options than ever. When facing charges, however, you should be sure to enlist the help of an experienced Joliet criminal defense attorney . Contact our office today to schedule your free initial consultation, and put our knowledgeable team to work for you.

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