Tough New Illinois DUI Bill Could Become Law This Summer

Bill Would Require Ignition Interlocks for All DUI Drivers, Including in Rental Cars

The Illinois House and Senate have both passed a bill that would significantly toughen the state's existing laws against drunk driving, according to the Quad City Times. The bill, which currently awaits the governor's signature before becoming law, would require ignition interlock devices in any car used by a convicted drunk driver, including rental cars. The proposal has received praise from advocates against drunk driving, who say the legislation will help reduce the number of car accidents caused by drunk drivers and make Illinois' roads and highways safer.

DUI Bill Passes

The proposed legislation, House Bill 1377, was recently unanimously passed by both the Illinois House and Senate. It currently requires Governor Bruce Rauner's signature in order to become law. If the governor does sign the bill, the new measures would go into effect in July.

Among the provisions included in the legislation is a requirement that anybody convicted of a DUI in Illinois would have to have an ignition interlock device installed in any car they drive. The legislation would even cover cars not actually owned by the convicted driver, including any rental cars he or she chooses to drive. The measure also requires convicted DUI offenders to have information added to the back of their driver's licenses stating that the driver must have an ignition interlock device installed in the vehicle he or she is driving.

Safer Illinois Roads

The proposal has already gained the highest level of approval from anti-drunk driving activists, including Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). According to the Chicago Tribune, the emphasis on ignition interlock devices, as evidenced in this latest proposal, is part of a broader recognition that license suspensions alone are not enough to deter drunk drivers.

Because anybody with a suspended license can still physically, though illegally, drive a vehicle, they have come under greater scrutiny in recent years. Ignition interlock devices, by contrast, still allow convicted motorists to drive, but only if they are sober. The devices are essentially breathalyzers that drivers must blow into before the vehicle's engine will start. States that already have the toughest ignition interlock laws, such as New Mexico and West Virginia, have seen dramatic drops in both DUI-related offenses and crashes.

Accident Representation

While the above proposal, if it becomes law, will likely help reduce the number of drunk driving accidents in Illinois, the sad fact is that accidents caused by negligent and reckless drivers will continue to happen in the state. For anybody who has been hurt in a car accident, especially one that may have been caused by another driver or third party, hiring a personal injury attorney is imperative. Personal injury attorneys can help injured accident victims understand their legal options and help them recover the full and fair compensation they deserve.