Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Illinois DUI law reporting - Wrong, Wrong, Wrong!

Is journalism dead? I really have to ask after reading the headlines and news stories published by the dozens just like those above. What's the problem? They are simply not true.

Illinois' new DUI law in effect January 1, 2009 creates no new requirement that a BAIID or "Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device" be installed upon conviction for DUI. Such a requirement would be ludicrous, as any motorist in Illinois convicted of DUI will find their driver's license revoked in short order. Revocation means no driving. None.

The new law does, however, punish those who still enjoy the presumption of innocence our society so obviously cherishes (insert sarcasm as needed).

Here's how it really works:
  1. A motorist is arrested for DUI
  2. The arresting officer requests that motorist, now accused of DUI, to submit to a breath, urine or blood test
  3. The motorist either refuses to do so, or submits to testing
  4. If the motorist either refuses or submits to tests demonstrating either a 0.08 or above blood or breath alcohol content or the presence of a substance such as marijuana (for example), the arresting officer serves a notice of suspension on the motorist
  5. 46 days later, the motorist's privilege to drive in the state of Illinois is suspended, either for 6 months (for submitting) or for one year (for refusal) assuming they have had no prior DUI or DUI-based suspension within five years
  6. 30 days after that happens, if the motorist chooses to be able to drive, they may obtain what is called an MDDP or "Monitored Device Driving Permit", install a BAIID on their vehicle, and drive any time, any where they like. If they don't want to drive, they don't need the BAIID
  7. Motorists who have had a prior DUI or DUI-based suspension within five years need not apply - they are suspended for either one year (for submitting) or three years (for refusing) and can't get any kind of permit, even one that requires they prove they have NO ALCOHOL in their system before driving. Hmm ... very fair, no?
So the lucky guy or gal who is accused of committing the crime of DUI, not an "offender", not someone who has been "convicted" as each and every one of these stories have it, but someone who might perhaps be found not guilty at all, must still spend between $600 and $1300 to drive.

Is it possible there is a reason these stories would rather not report the truth? It is somewhat less palatable to anyone who remembers we live a country governed by a Constitution and Bill of Rights, isn't it?


  1. Very nicely and comprehensively written review.

  2. Extremeley grateful for your help in my DUI case. This additional information you provided above reflects what I seem to remember about my own situation and I was driving out of state from Indiana. Thanks again for your defense of my case that helped change my life for the better!


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