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Illinois DUI attorneyAn ignition interlock device (also sometimes referred to as an “IID” or a “breath alcohol ignition interlock device” (BAIID)) is a tool that can be installed in an auto that prevents the vehicle from turning on if the driver’s breath alcohol concentration (BAC) is higher than a certain pre-programmed level. If an ignition interlock device is installed on your vehicle then you must blow into the attached breathalyzer before you drive. If no alcohol (or a permissible amount of alcohol) is detected on your breath then your car will start as usual, however, if you fail the breathalyzer test then your vehicle will be locked for a predetermined amount of time (generally the vehicle’s ignition will be locked for a few minutes after the first failed test and will be locked for a longer period of time if a second or subsequent breath test is failed). Additionally, some ignition interlock devices also require drivers to submit to random re-testing while driving.

Ignition Interlock Devices in Illinois

Here in Illinois, anyone who is convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) may be required to have an ignition interlock device installed on any vehicle that they wish to operate as a condition of having their driving privileges restored. The penalties associated with driving without an ignition interlock device when required to have one can be extremely steep in Illinois. In fact, LifeSafer.com notes that driving without an ignition interlock device in Illinois is a Class 4 felony offense that is punishable by imprisonment for up to three years and payment of a fine of up to $25,000.

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Chicago DUI defense lawyersYou can probably imagine what it feels like to be pulled over by the police on a night where you have had a few drinks, even if it has never happened to you before. The lights flash behind you and your heart sinks. By the time the officer is at your window, you are probably extremely nervous, but you want to make this go as smooth as possible so that you get home quickly. As expected, the officer asks if you have been drinking, and you honestly answer that you had a couple earlier. Then, the officer asks if you will take a breathalyzer test. Can you refuse?

Understanding the Law

According to Illinois law, drivers give their implied consent to submit to blood alcohol content (BAC) testing by operating a motor vehicle on the streets and roadways of the state. There is an important caveat, however. Implied consent only refers to testing that is conducted incident to an arrest for driving under the influence (DUI). This means that you are under no obligation whatsoever to take a BAC test unless and until you have been arrested on suspicion of DUI. Regardless of what the officer tells you, if you have not been arrested, you cannot be forced to take a breathalyzer.

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Chicago criminal defense attorneyMost people are aware that likely know that the legal limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) for the average adult driver in the state of Illinois is 0.08 percent. But, what does that number represent? Is there a magic number of drinks that reaches the threshold, which consumers are forbidden to pass and then drive a car? Does it matter what the drink of choice is? While 0.08 is the one substantial factor, several others contribute to surpassing that limitation and possibly being charged with driving under the influence (DUI).

What Was in Your Glass?

This is where it pays to go to a reputable establishment to consume alcohol. Did you know that each beverage has a glass in which it should be served? Classifications break down into glasses made specifically for beer, wine, or spirits and further into each subclass. The idea behind specialized glasses ensures consumers not only enjoy the best taste of their beverages but are also not consuming too much without knowledge. By serving inappropriate amounts of alcohol per glass, a vendor may set their customers up for disaster. Consider that the following measurements are all equal to one standard drink:

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Chicago criminal defense attorneyThe moment a driver is pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence, he or she is often faced with a series of field and sobriety tests—including blood-alcohol content (BAC) tests—that ultimately help determine their fate in a court of law. Whatever the outcome, the driver found guilty of a DUI offense faces everything from the loss of driving privileges and serious prison time to hefty fines and community service. Depending on the severity of the conviction, the driver’s life can be affected for months, and even years following the DUI arrest.

The Science Behind the Breathalyzer

When so much rests on the results of sobriety tests, it is understandable that the reliability of such tests are questioned and challenged. So, just how reliable are breathalyzers? How do they work, and can they be trusted? In short, a breathalyzer is a modified infrared radiation spectrometer. That is a fancy term for a device that measures the absorption of organic compounds in the blood stream - in this case, alcohol. When you blow into a breathalyzer, the alcohol that is in your blood transfers through to your breath, and the device calibrates to read the concentration of alcohol in your system.

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