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Illinois Stiffens Drunk Driving Laws But is it Enough?

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed a measure into law on August 29, 2015 that will require repeat DUI offenders to install devices in their vehicles that will prevent them from starting if they have been drinking. The Chicago car accident attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers support any law that may reduce the number of drunken drivers on the road, but there are questions yet concerning whether the law will be an effective deterrent in reducing the number of new drunk driving cases. Since the law only applies to repeat offenders, it may not go far enough to be truly effective.

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The New Law Will Keep Repeat Offenders off the Road

DUI Laws in IllinoisDrivers who have been convicted of a DUI on more than one occasion will be subject to this new law, which requires the installation of a breath alcohol ignition interlock device in their vehicles which requires a driver to blow into the device prior to starting the vehicle. The vehicles will only start in the complete absence of alcohol. Those who support the law believe that it will prevent numerous drunk driving accidents by keeping drunk drivers off of the road while others have cited means by which drivers may get around the law, such as having another person blow into the device or getting behind the wheel of a friend’s car instead.

Rather than serve a one to three year license suspension, those convicted of repeat DUIs can elect to install the devices, which are not cheap. The average device will run over $1,400 and drivers will need to pay an $85 installation fee, $80 monthly rental fee and $30 monthly monitoring fee. These costs may act as a deterrent to those who have been convicted of their first DUI who do not wish to incur these costs in the future in order to keep their licenses.

New Drunk Driving Cases Unlikely to be Affected

Our Chicago auto injury lawyers have handled plenty of DUI related cases and drunken driving is still a large contributor to deaths in the Chicago area. One in three vehicle related deaths in the state is linked to the influence of drugs or alcohol and this is despite the tightening of laws over the years in an effort to curb driving while intoxicated. DUIs were once linked to about half of all auto fatalities, so an increase in the number of sobriety checkpoints and increased public awareness of the issue have resulted in progress, but it is still not enough. 317 people lost their lives due to the actions of a drunk driver in 2013, for example.

Because the latest law only applies to repeat offenders, it may not go far enough and the fact that it requires multiple offenses before drivers are required to install the devices means that people will still have plenty of opportunities to be involved in a deadly crash before they are finally required to install the devices. Those convicted of drunken driving who have been involved in a deadly accident or caused significant bodily harm will be required to wait one year prior to receiving a driver’s permit, but it is likely these drivers will still return to the roads. Therefore, while the latest drunk driving law is certain to keep some drunk drivers off the road, many will remain, causing us to remain vigilant in our efforts to improve the safety of our roads.

Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers has represented numerous victims of drunken driving accidents and their families and we are devoted to finding justice on behalf of anyone whose life has been changed due to the reckless decision of someone to take the wheel while intoxicated. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in an accident, contact us today to arrange a free consultation so that we can gather the information needed to go to work on your behalf.

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Our Chicago car accident attorneys only receive a fee once we have recovered compensation on your behalf and if we are unable to do so, you are assured that our services will be free of charge.