Illinois First-Time DUI Offenders: Ignition Interlock Eligibility

 Posted on October 20,2014 in First DUI Offense

Arlington Heights DUI attorney, driving suspension, DUI arrest, first-time DUI offender, ignition interlock, monitoring device driving permitThe Illinois Secretary of State reports that 86 percent of drivers arrested for DUI in 2012 were first time offenders. Even for a first offense, a DUI has the potential of carrying serious penalties.

Depending on the facts surrounding the arrest, it can include:

  • Court fines and fees;
  • Suspension of driving privileges;
  • Community service; and
  • Imprisonment.

If a driver is arrested for a DUI in Illinois and fails or refuses to submit to a chemical testing, driving privileges are automatically suspended for six months for failing chemical testing and 12 months for refusal to submit. In both instances, if it is a first time offense, drivers may be eligible for a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP). 

For drivers who wish to obtain, and are eligible for, driving privileges during a suspension period, the driver must obtain a MDDP. Like many states, Illinois requires first-time DUI offenders to install a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) in their vehicle, in addition to a camera that records the image of the driver as they perform their breath test.

First-time DUI offenders are not eligible for a MDPP given the following: 

  • The driver was previously convicted of an aggravated DUI that resulted in death;
  • The driver’s license is invalid;
  • Death or great bodily harm was a result of the DUI arrest; and
  • The driver is under the age of 18.

A driver can decline a MDDP, if choosing not to drive during the suspension period. However, a person who does not participate in the program and is caught driving during the suspension period is guilty of Class 4 felony.

Within 90 days of receiving the driving suspension notice, a driver may request a judicial hearing to challenge the statutory suspension. This hearing is held separately from court dates scheduled for the criminal charge(s).  

If you have been arrested for driving under the influence in Illinois, contact an Arlington Heights DUI attorney today to help you understand and exercise your legal options.

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