In a controversial move, Republican Governor Bruce Rauner signed a bill that will allow drivers with four convictions for DUI or impaired driving to receive restricted driving permits.
This goes against (or perhaps as an addendum to) current Illinois DUI law, under which drivers convicted of four charges of DUI have their licenses revoked. While this may seem like a bad idea, as drivers convicted of DUI four times have already proven four-times over that they have failed to observe drinking and driving laws, advocates of this measure including sponsoring Rep. Elaine Nekritz, D-Northbrook, say that although the measure is controversial, it is needed to help people who can show clear and convincing evidence that they have been “clean” for the past three years, have successfully completed an approved alcohol and/or drug rehabilitation program a second (and third and fourth) chance at finding jobs. Drivers who meet these requirements would be able to apply for a restricted driving permit five years after their fourth DUI if no other violations are pending. A BAIID devide — Breath Alcohol Ignition Alcohol Device – would be required in any vehicle, including rental cars, driven by repeat offenders. Drivers are required to blow into a breathalyzer device which would analyze their blood alcohol content and only allow the car to start if there is no alcohol in the drivers system. On long trips, drivers would be required to use the BAIID in order to keep the vehicle running.
This measure comes into play at a time when the Illinois Secretary of State’s office is passing stricter DUI laws in an attempt to keep drunken and impaired drivers off the road. “This legislation further improves our heralded BAIID program, and ensures the vehicles driven by DUI offenders will have a BAIID installed, whether or not the vehicles are owned by the offenders,” says IL Secretary of State Jesse White.