Ignition Interlock Laws in Illinois: A Comprehensive Overview

Ignition interlock laws play a critical role in curbing impaired driving and enhancing road safety. Illinois implemented its ignition interlock law in 1994, mandating the installation of ignition interlock devices for drivers with DUI convictions. These devices require drivers to provide a breath sample before starting their vehicles, preventing them from operating under the influence of alcohol.

Over the years, Illinois’ ignition interlock program has evolved to address the challenges of recidivism and improve road safety. The state has adopted stringent measures, such as Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) pilot programs, to rigorously evaluate and refine the legislation. This not only underscores the importance of such laws in safeguarding public health but also highlights the state’s commitment to reducing alcohol-related traffic incidents.

Ignition Interlock Laws Overview


The main purpose of ignition interlock laws in Illinois is to reduce incidents of alcohol-impaired driving and the number of alcohol-related crashes. To achieve this, the state requires the installation of ignition interlock devices in vehicles of individuals convicted of DUIs in specific cases. These devices help prevent repeat offenses by ensuring that a driver cannot start their vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.


In Illinois, there are certain conditions that dictate the requirement for ignition interlock devices. Some of these requirements include:

  • First-Time DUI Offenders: For first-time DUI offenders who wish to obtain a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP), they must have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicles.

  • Repeat Offenders: In the case of repeat offenders, an ignition interlock device is mandatory for a specific period following the suspension of their licenses.

  • Advanced Technology: The state illinois requires the ignition interlock devices to be equipped with advanced technology that includes a camera, GPS, and real-time reporting.

  • Installation and Maintenance: Convicted individuals are responsible for all costs associated with the installation, maintenance, and calibration of the ignition interlock devices in their vehicles.

By adhering to these requirements, the ignition interlock laws in Illinois aim to reduce alcohol-related accidents and promote public safety on the roads.

Installation Process

The ignition interlock device (IID) installation process in Illinois is designed to ensure the device’s proper functioning and prevent drink-driving incidents. This process involves the selection of approved devices, finding a suitable installation location, and correctly installing the device in the vehicle.

Approved Devices

In Illinois, the selection of an ignition interlock device is restricted to devices approved by the state. Approved devices must meet specific criteria and standards for reliability and accuracy. Utilizing an unapproved device can result in penalties or failure to comply with the ignition interlock program requirements. To identify state-approved devices, consult Illinois’ list of authorized ignition interlock devices.

Installation Locations

Once an approved device is selected, the next step is to find a certified installation location. Illinois has numerous authorized service centers that can properly install ignition interlock devices. These centers provide professional installation services and ensure that the device is functioning correctly. It’s essential to have the device installed by a qualified technician to avoid potential issues or penalties relating to the interlock program. Some resources can help locate suitable installation locations.

After selecting an installation location, the vehicle owner should schedule an appointment for the device’s installation. During the appointment, the technician will install the device into the vehicle, explain how it works, and provide instructions on its proper use. Additionally, they will educate the driver about the importance of maintaining the device and adhering to the interlock program requirements.

In summary, understanding the installation process for an ignition interlock device in Illinois is crucial for compliance with the state’s laws. Drivers must select from approved devices and find authorized installation locations to ensure the device is properly installed and functioning to prevent alcohol-related traffic offenses.

Monitoring and Reporting

Periodic Inspections

In Illinois, ignition interlock devices (IID) are subject to periodic inspections to ensure their proper functioning and compliance with the state’s regulations. The frequency of these inspections may depend on the individual case, but generally, they need to happen every 30-60 days. During inspections, the monitoring authority checks the IID logs for any violations or attempts to tamper with or bypass the device. Service providers are responsible for reporting this information to the appropriate authorities for further action if violations are detected.

Violation Consequences

In the event of a violation detected either during the periodic inspections or reported by the service provider, consequences can be imposed on the offender in Illinois. Some common types of violations include:

  • Attempting to start the vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above the set limit
  • Failing to submit a breath sample when required
  • Tampering with or bypassing the IID

The consequences for these violations depend on their severity and frequency:

  1. First violation: A written warning may be issued to the offender, and a record of the warning will be kept on file.
  2. Second violation: The offender may be required to attend a hearing to discuss the IID usage and possible consequences. The device monitoring period may also be extended, depending on the outcome of the hearing.
  3. Third or subsequent violations: The offender’s driving privileges may be suspended or revoked, and additional penalties might be imposed, such as fines, further extensions of the IID monitoring period, or even imprisonment.

Strict adherence to IID regulations and compliance with the monitoring and reporting requirements is crucial to ensure the success of ignition interlock programs in Illinois and maintain public safety on the roads.

Costs and Financial Assistance

Device and Installation Costs

Ignition Interlock Devices (IIDs) are an important tool in reducing the rates of drunken driving offenses. In Illinois, the cost of an IID is approximately $3 to $4 per day on average, which is comparable to the cost of a typical drink source. This includes not only the device itself but also installation and maintenance fees. It’s worth noting that these costs may vary depending on the specific provider and the individual’s circumstances.

Financial Assistance Options

While the majority of drivers in Illinois can absorb the costs related to IIDs, some offenders might need financial assistance. The state offers support to qualified individuals who cannot afford the expenses associated with IID installation and maintenance. To apply for financial assistance, individuals must fill out a specific form and submit it to the appropriate agency, as detailed here.

Successful applicants will receive a letter granting their request for financial support, allowing them to install and use the ignition interlock device at a reduced cost. This assistance helps ensure that more drivers have access to IIDs, thus reducing the number of alcohol-related crashes on the roadways in Illinois.

Removing an Ignition Interlock Device

In Illinois, an ignition interlock device (IID) is a helpful tool used to deter people from driving under the influence of alcohol. While it is a worthwhile program, it is essential to know the process for a driver when they become eligible to remove the device.

Eligibility Criteria

There are specific eligibility criteria set out in Illinois law that determine when a driver can have the ignition interlock device removed from their vehicle. These criteria include the following:

  • The completion of the required suspension or revocation period
  • No alcohol-related traffic violations while the device was installed
  • Successful participation in the required alcohol education and/or treatment program

Once these criteria are met, a driver is eligible to request the removal of the ignition interlock device from their vehicle.

Removal Process

The removal process for the ignition interlock device includes a few necessary steps, as follows:

  1. Submit a request: The driver must submit a formal request to the Illinois Secretary of State’s office. This request should include documentation that confirms the completion of the suspension or revocation period and the successful participation in the required alcohol education and/or treatment program.

  2. Approval: Upon receipt of the request, the Secretary of State’s office will review the application and determine if the driver is eligible for the removal. If approved, they will send the driver a written authorization.

  3. Device removal: The driver must then take the vehicle with the ignition interlock device, along with the written authorization, to the authorized service provider who initially installed the device. The provider will remove the IID, and the driver will be required to pay any associated fees for their services.

By following the outlined eligibility criteria and removal process, drivers in Illinois can move forward after successfully completing their ignition interlock program obligations and having the device removed from their vehicle.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the consequences of failing an interlock test in Illinois?

Failing an ignition interlock test in Illinois can result in several consequences, including a possible extension of the ignition interlock device (IID) requirement, reinstatement fees, and a potential suspension or revocation of driving privileges. Persistent failures or violations may also lead to stronger penalties, such as increased fines or vehicle confiscation.

How long is the BAIID required in Illinois?

In Illinois, the Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) is typically required for one year for first-time offenders. However, the duration may vary depending on the severity of the offense and the driver’s history. Repeat offenders or individuals with aggravated DUI convictions may be required to have a BAIID installed for a longer period.

What does the 5-year BAIID program in Illinois entail?

The 5-year BAIID program in Illinois is designed for repeat DUI offenders who must have the ignition interlock device installed for an extended period. This program focuses on preventing recidivism by closely monitoring the driver’s compliance with BAIID requirements. The driver must remain compliant with BAIID requirements, including passing breath tests and periodic device inspections, to maintain their driving privileges throughout the duration of the program.

What are the costs associated with BAIID devices in Illinois?

In Illinois, the costs associated with BAIID devices typically include installation, monthly monitoring fees, and maintenance. The installation fee can range from $50 to $200, while monthly monitoring fees and maintenance can cost between $50 and $100 per month. In some cases, financial assistance may be available for qualifying individuals who demonstrate financial hardship.

How can BAIID violations be addressed in Illinois?

BAIID violations in Illinois, such as failing a breath test or attempting to tamper with the device, can be addressed through legal representation, mandatory alcohol or drug treatment programs, or by complying with any court-ordered sanctions. Additionally, the driver may be required to attend a hearing with the Secretary of State’s office to discuss the violation and potential consequences.

Which BAIID devices are considered the best in Illinois?

Various BAIID devices are available in Illinois, and the best device for a specific individual will depend on factors such as cost, reliability, and user-friendliness. It is essential to choose a device from an approved list of providers in the state to ensure compliance with Illinois regulations. Consulting with a knowledgeable attorney or DUI counselor can help determine the most suitable device for a particular situation.

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