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Wheaton criminal defense attorneysIf you were caught driving under the influence of alcohol in Illinois, your driver's license may have been suspended or revoked. Without a valid driver’s license, it becomes unlawful to drive a motor vehicle. Losing your ability to drive can be a massive inconvenience. Fortunately, Illinois drivers may be able to get relief through a Restricted Driving Permit (RDP) or a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP). These programs allow you to get back on the road legally. There is just one catch – you must install a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) in your car. Many drivers wonder, “Is there a way to cheat a BAIID?”

How a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device Works

Driving under the influence of alcohol puts the driver’s life and the lives of others at risk. Consequently, Illinois state has instituted policies to prevent drunk driving. One of these rules is the BAIID requirement. Once a BAIID is installed in your vehicle, you must successfully pass a breath alcohol test to use the vehicle. You will need to blow into the mouthpiece and submit a breath sample before starting the car. The device will instantly analyze the sample for alcohol. If the BAIID detects even a very small amount of alcohol, your car will not start. If the device does not detect alcohol on your breath, your car will start up normally. You will be prompted to submit additional breath samples by blowing in the mouthpiece as you drive.

Hacking a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device

There are many rumors about alleged methods of hacking or tricking BAIIDS. Some people say that you can hold a penny in your mouth or eat certain foods to eliminate alcohol from your breath. Others suggest brushing your teeth or using mouthwash to conceal breath alcohol. These methods do not work. In fact, most mouthwashes contain alcohol, so using mouthwash or an alcohol-containing toothpaste will only worsen your situation.

Asking a non-drinking friend to blow into the device for you will also backfire. In 2013, the Illinois Secretary of State required all BAIIDs to be equipped with a camera. The device takes a picture each time a breath sample is submitted. Driving another person’s car to avoid using the BAIID can lead to additional criminal penalties. Driving without a valid license—and a suspended or revoked license is not a valid license—is  a Class A misdemeanor punishable by jail, community service, and heavy fines. If it is your second offense, driving on a suspended or revoked license is a Class 4 felony punishable by imprisonment, feels, and an extended suspension or revocation period.

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Wheaton IL DUI defense lawyerDriving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is extremely dangerous. According to the Illinois Secretary of State's Office, there were over 27,000 DUI arrests in Illinois in 2017. The state takes DUI arrests very seriously which is why 91 percent of people who were arrested for DUI and were eligible, lost their driving privileges. Still, the state also recognizes that people should not have to be put through months of hardship for one mistake. This is why Illinois allows certain DUI offenders to apply for one of two types of driving permits: a monitoring device driving permit (MDDP) or a restricted driving permit (RDP).

Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP)

In order to apply for an MDDP, you must be a first-time DUI offender. This means you must not have received a statutory summary suspension in the past five years or have been convicted of a DUI in Illinois or any other state within the past five years. In addition, your DUI arrest must not have caused death or great bodily harm to another, and you must not have been previously convicted of reckless homicide or aggravated DUI that resulted in death.

While you have an MDDP, you must have a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) installed into any vehicle that you drive, though you may drive anywhere at any time once you have the permit and have the BAIID installed. 

Restricted Driving Permit (RDP)

If you are ineligible for an MDDP, you may be eligible for an RDP. In order to qualify for an RDP, you must be able to prove that hardship exists. You must also provide a current professional drug and/or alcohol evaluation and, in some cases, proof of remedial education or treatment. You must also have a BAIID installed into any vehicle you drive during the length of the permit. In addition, the have an RDP issued to you, you must attend a hearing at the Secretary of State’s Office so they can determine whether there is a threat to public safety if you were issued a permit.

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monitoring device driving permit, Wheaton DUI defense attorneyDriving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is considered a serious offense no matter where you live in the United States. However, in Illinois, punishments have the potential to be harsher than other states. The Illinois State Police site DUI as the cause of hundreds of deaths annually and hundreds more seriously injured and even disabled. Also with this reasoning, judges often enact strict, life-altering punishments upon conviction. With proper legal knowledge and etiquette, it is possible to receive a lesser penalty or special permissions, such as a Monitoring Device Driving Permit.

Standard Penalties

Along with a price hike in your insurance premiums, points on your license, and a mark on your record, there are additional penalties that can ensue after being formally found guilty of a DUI. For a first time conviction, these penalties include:

  • Minimum loss of driving privileges for one year;
  • Incarceration of up to one year; and
  • Fines of up to $2,500.

Your Driving Privileges Are Important!

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