Plain and simple, people make mistakes. While some mistakes do not really cause harm, others can lead to months or years of consequences. Unfortunately for some, driving under the influence is a mistake that can follow them for many years. Even for a first-offense DUI people can face serious consequences in Illinois. For a first-offense, people can be sentenced to up to a year in prison and have their drivers’ licenses suspended for up to six months. Subsequent DUI arrests will lead to longer jail sentences and more severe penalties.
Fortunately, in Illinois there are many options available to those who have been accused of DUI. These defense options can help to lower or even eliminate charges. In other cases, these options can help to reduce penalties and help people regain as normal of a life as possible.
One of these options is to petition the court to allow people to use a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device in lieu of suspending their drivers’ licenses. A BAII is a device which drivers must blow into before they are able to start their car. If alcohol is detected the device will report it to the state, and officers will follow up with the driver. The driver must pay $1,500 a year to use the device.
Recently, however, changes have been announced to the BAII system. Under the new system, a camera will also be installed with the device. This camera will clarify the identity of the driver if the device reports a positive test. This change could help prosecutors convict people when the device is triggered, but it may also help people avoid false charges if someone else was driving.
BAII is just one of the many options available to those facing DUI charges. People should explore all their options before making any decisions in their criminal case.
Source: CBS Chicago, “Illinois’ New Weapon Against Drunken Drivers,” Regine Schlesinger, July 2, 2013