Smile while you blow?

This was brought to my attention by Champaign attorney Mark Palmer.

The Secretary of State has proposed an new rule for breath ignition interlock devices (“BAIID”), requiring that they have cameras capable of photographing the motorist while he or she is taking the breath test necessary to start the vehicle.

The proposed rule states:

IGNITION INTERLOCK DEVICES

SOS also proposed amendments to “Procedures and Standards” (92 Ill Adm Code 1001; 37 Ill Reg 720), concerning Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Devices (BAIIDs) issued to persons with restricted driving permits or monitoring device driving permits (MDDPs, for first-time DUI offenders). No later than July 1, 2013, all BAIIDs installed shall include a camera that captures a clear image of the individual blowing into the BAIID, at a sufficiently wide angle to determine whether a circumvention device has been inserted into the mouthpiece of the BAIID. Captured images shall be stored by the vendor of the BAIID device and made accessible to the SOS, as prescribed by the SOS. For persons in the first-time monitoring driving permit program, preventing the camera from taking clear and accurate photos of the permittee blowing into the mouthpiece is a violation.  Permit privileges shall be suspended for an additional 3 months when an image shows the MDDP permittee has used a product that allows the permittee to avoid blowing directly into the mouthpiece, or has tried to prevent a clear picture of the driver. BAIID providers and installers are affected by this rulemaking.

As you may know, the Illinois Secretary of State requires that most people who have been suspended or revoked in Illinois for one or more DUIs have a BAIID installed on their vehicle as a condition of a driving permit.  The BAIID will only allow the individual to start a motor vehicle so long as there is not a BAC reading of 0.025 or higher.  This means that a person can have a BAC that is well below the legal limit yet not be able to start his or her vehicle.  Because of this, it is quite common for people to find that they are locked out and unable to start their vehicle despite not having consumed alcohol for over 12 hours, and feeling completely sober.  When this happens, not only is the person unable to start the car, but he or she will then face repercussions for their “high” BAC, including but not limited to extensions of the suspension, revocation of the driving permit,and  impoundment or forfeiture of the vehicle.

Faced with such consequences, it is commonplace for the person in this situation to attempt to claim that someone else was responsible for the BAIID result.  Sometimes this is true, sometimes it isn’t.  Currently, the person may contest the action of the Secretary of State and request a hearing, at which time he or she can present their evidence.  This requires the Secretary of State to weigh the credibility of the witnesses and evidence.  A photograph of the actual test will make this determination a lot easier, for both the Secretary of State and motorist involved.

One thought on “Smile while you blow?

  1. Pingback: The future of DUIs? | illinoisduilawyer

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