For those dealing with a DUI conviction for the first time, Illinois’ BAIID rules may seem confusing and even overwhelming. You may be feeling stressed and unsure about Illinois’ different regulations, on top of an already stressful situation.
In this article, we’ll explain Illinois’ BAIID rules to put your mind at ease and help you feel more confident about your circumstances.
BAIID device use is part of Illinois’ requirements for all those charged with a DUI. These devices are in lieu of more restrictive measures such as vehicle impoundment and the prohibition of all driving activity. BAIID devices allow drivers to continue driving under supervision, making it possible to commute to work and perform other important tasks with more freedom and ease.
Find all the information you need to better understand BAIID devices and how to best comply with Illinois interlock laws.
What is a BAIID Device?
BAIID stands for Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device. It’s also known more simply as an Ignition Interlock Device, or IID. A BAIID allows a driver to start their vehicle only if their blood-alcohol content (BAC) is under the legal amount per state regulations.
In Illinois, a driver with a DUI must have a BAC under 0.025 to successfully start their car with a BAIID.1
Along with a breath test to start the vehicle, the BAIID will prompt drivers to perform additional breath tests at various times while driving.1 This ensures that the driver is not consuming alcohol after the initial breath test.
Most states require those charged with their first DUI to install a BAIID in their vehicle, but specific requirements can vary between states.
Anyone charged with an Illinois DUI for the first time must install a BAIID device in their vehicle unless they choose to refrain from driving altogether. Additionally, a camera must be installed along with a BAIID so that photographic proof can be taken to show that the breath test was completed correctly.1
BAIID devices are designed to keep drivers sober and safe while on the road. They grant more freedom and ease to drivers as they fulfill the necessary DUI requirements.
History of BAIID Device Use
While the first Interlock Devices were created in 1969, they became more commonplace in the late 1980s after California legislation allowing the use of Ignition Interlock devices was passed.2
Generally, DUIs result in on-the-spot license revocation and license suspension by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). But this alone is insufficient in preventing drivers from driving while intoxicated since their license status can only be verified if they’re stopped by law enforcement.
License suspension can be paired with vehicle impoundment or seizure, but this significantly limits the mobility of those charged with DUIs, making it difficult or impossible to work and support one’s needs.
BAIID devices have proven to be a very successful solution to this issue, making it possible for those with a DUI to drive safely and soberly. Now, all 50 states have their own Ignition Interlock device legislation,2 and over 50% of those charged with a DUI use a BAIID in their vehicle.3
How BAIID Devices Work
A BAIID device, essentially, is a breathalyzer attached to the ignition of a vehicle, which must be blown into by the driver to start the car. The BAIID determines whether a driver is sober and therefore fit to operate their vehicle by measuring their blood-alcohol content (BAC). The BAIID must be blown into again at certain times while the car is running to continue driving it.1
The process works like this:
- The driver’s BAC is taken via a breath test
- The BAIID device technology can detect any alcohol present on the breath (the breath alcohol content, or BrAC)
- The device determines the BAC of the driver.
Because the BAIID is wired into the vehicle’s ignition, anyone attempting to drive the car must perform the required breath tests, even if they’re not the one with the DUI. However, responsibility for all actions recorded by the BAIID falls on the person charged with the DUI.1
Per Illinois law, the BAIID requires a camera attachment that will take a picture of the driver while performing the breath test. All data collected by the BAIID, including recorded BAC levels and photos, are sent to the Secretary of State’s office for review. Every 60 days, this information is downloaded and analyzed by the office to check for a BAIID violation.1
Research has proven BAIID devices to be very effective in preventing repeat DUI charges, often by as much as 65%.4 As technology continues to grow and evolve, BAIID effectiveness will too.
Illinois BAIID Installation and Maintenance
The first step to acquiring a BAIID for your vehicle is to apply through the Illinois Secretary of State. If this is your first DUI, you must obtain a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP) through the Secretary of State’s office.1 You must have both an MDDP and a BAIID to drive legally after being charged with an Illinois DUI.
For those with multiple DUIs, a BAIID may be used in conjunction with a Restricted Driving Permit (RDP), which limits driving to essential activities, like driving to work.4
While the Office of the Secretary of State or the court may issue the requirement of a BAIID to be installed in your vehicle, it’s your responsibility to purchase and service your own device. Fees can include1:
- Device installation, paid to your BAIID provider
- Monthly device rental, paid to your BAIID provider
- Monthly monitoring fees, paid to the Secretary of State’s office
You must also have your BAIID serviced regularly by your BAIID provider to keep your device properly calibrated and functioning correctly.
The Illinois Secretary of State provides several resources for drivers, including a list of approved BAIID vendors and service locations.5
Legal Implications of BAIID Violations
A BAIID violations is taken seriously by the Illinois Secretary of State. A driver using their BAIID device incorrectly or attempting to “cheat” the system can be dangerous for both the driver and others on the road. In fact, multiple violations will compound and lead to increasingly strict penalties.
Taking the time to familiarize yourself with BAIID devices and Illinois Interlock laws will make you more informed and help you avoid violations.
Every 60 days, the Illinois Secretary of State’s office will evaluate your BAIID’s data, and if any violations are found, you will be notified and asked to explain what happened.1 Violations can include any of the following:
- Tampering with your BAIID device in any way–either attempting to remove the device or the camera, or providing a false breath sample.
- Any unsuccessful ignition attempts or failed or unperformed breath retests while the car is running.
- Failure to notify or provide evidence for the installation of a BAIID device to the Secretary of State’s office.6
Any unsuccessful attempts to start your car with your BAIID will result in a three-month extension on your license suspension.1 However, if violations continue to occur, more drastic measures will be taken, including1:
- MDDP cancellation
- Car impoundment (after three violations)
- Car seizure (after four violations)
Is DUI a felony in Illinois? Yes, sometimes. The penalty for driving a car without a BAIID installed is high; under Illinois law, this is considered a Class 4 felony.1
Violations of Illinois BAIID rules are answered with penalties that are undesirable, restrictive, and costly. To that end, it’s best to use your BAIID correctly to avoid any legal consequences.
The Effectiveness of BAIID Devices
BAIID devices and BAIID laws are very effective at preventing recurrent drunk driving instances.
Research has also found that BAIID use can lead to a reduction in the amount of alcohol a person drinks. In one study, drinking frequency and alcohol intake amount were seen to decrease for a majority of participants, and 14% of participants stopped drinking altogether.3
DUI recidivism rates also dramatically decrease with the use of BAIID devices,4 making it less likely that you’ll have to deal with DUI penalties in the future.
No one is thrilled to deal with the requirements that come with a DUI charge. But by using a BAIID, fulfilling these requirements becomes much easier to manage.
Additionally, by adhering to Illinois BAIID rules, you help to create safer roads for yourself and other drivers, steering clear of the trouble that comes with an aggravated DUI in Illinois.
Meet Illinois Regulations with Smart Start’s BAIID Devices
Smart Start is happy to be an Illinois-certified BAIID vendor with a large number of installation sites throughout the state.7
Smart Start currently offers the most affordable BAIID Illinois has to offer. In addition to that, we provide reliable, user-friendly technology and impeccable customer service. Our lines are open 24/7 to help you with any Smart Start Ignition Interlock-related questions or issues. It’s our priority to put your mind at ease and help you comply fully with Illinois’ BAIID rules.
Smart Start is here for you through every step of the process, from BAIID installation and training to servicing and removal. Learn more about the different BAIID devices we offer, and find a convenient Smart Start installation location near you.
- The Office of the Illinois Secretary of State. Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID). https://www.ilsos.gov/departments/BAIID/baiid.html
- Centers for Disease Control and Suspension. Alcohol Ignition Interlocks. https://www.cdc.gov/transportationsafety/calculator/factsheet/interlocks.html
- National Library of Medicine. The Impact of Interlock Installation on Driving Behavior and Drinking Behavior Related to Driving. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7879393/
- Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority. Alcohol Impaired Driving in Illinois. https://icjia.illinois.gov/researchhub/articles/alcohol-impaired-driving-in-illinois
- The Office of the Illinois Secretary of State. BAIID. https://www.ilsos.gov/departments/BAIID/home.html
- Illinois Legal Aid. BAIID Violations. https://www.illinoislegalaid.org/legal-information/baiid-violations
- The Office of the Illinois Secretary of State. Illinois Certified BAIID Vendors. https://www.ilsos.gov/departments/BAIID/certbaiid.html
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