New Laws Designed to Deter Drunk Driving in Illinois

When the calendar rolls over to January 1, 2016, many new laws will take effect across the State of Illinois covering any number of conceivable activities. Two of those laws in particular take direct aim at the safety of residents who use the roadways by attempting to make drunk driving more difficult – welcomed news in an area where driving under the influence continues to be a significant problem every year.

The first of the new laws started in the House of Representatives and will lengthen the time that an operator must use an ignition interlock device (“IID”) following a second or later conviction for driving under the influence. At the start of the new year, the minimum length for an ignition interlock device will be five years and these devices must be used on all vehicles owned by the convicted offender. In some instances, an ignition interlock device may be required for a longer period of time.

The second new law related to drunk driving and ignition interlock devices began in the Senate and will expand the pool of drivers who may be subjected to the use of an IID. With the new legislation, some people who are suspected of consuming alcohol will be required to sign a warning provided by police. If a motorist is convicted of operating under the influence, that driver may be eligible to apply for a for a Monitoring Device Driving Permit or a Restricted Driving Permit in Illinois with the use of an ignition interlock device on their personal vehicles or the vehicle they will be driving. If an individual has two or more convictions for driving under the influence or reckless homicide, that person must install an IID if she wants to obtain a Restricted Driving Permit; otherwise, that driver will face the loss of a license. And finally, if a driver is convicted of operating under the influence of alcohol and it results in death, great bodily harm, permanent disability, or disfigurement to another person, the driver must install an IID if she desires a Restricted Driving Permit.

Drunk driving is an issue affecting the public at large, both here in Chicago and across the country. Every day, Mothers Against Drunk Driving estimates that 300,000 impaired motorists take to public roadways but that fewer than 4,000 of them are stopped and apprehended by authorities. This means that hundreds of thousands escape detection to drink and drive again. Unfortunately, many of those will be responsible for a car accident that will cause injuries, financial harm, and potentially even death to others, affecting both the victims and the drunk driver for the rest of their lives.

When a collision happens in the Chicago area and one of the motorists is drunk or impaired, victims of that crash may be entitled to financial compensation for their damages, including any medical expenses they incur for treatment. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer can help you realize what options exist for you if a crash has affected your life or harmed someone you love.

The personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. offer a case consultation to all victims who call us toll free at (855) 529-2442 or locally at (312) 924-7575 and we have a lawyer available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to speak with you. There is no cost and no obligation for calling us and our attorneys will maintain confidentiality with everything that is discussed. Further, if we represent you, we will never charge you a fee unless we make a recovery on your behalf and we will fight for the best possible outcome in your case.

If a collision has happened, call Abels & Annes, P.C. today and let us get to work for you.

Prior Blog Entry:

Hazardous Roads Expected as Storm Hits Chicago, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published December 28, 2015.


237 new Illinois laws take effect January 1, 2016, Fox 32 Chicago, published December 21, 2015.

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