Drinking and driving bring substantial penalties, and even Illinois’ first-time offenders should expect to see their lives change a good deal in the aftermath of a conviction. Depending on the details surrounding your arrest for driving under the influence, you may have to pay hefty fines, spend time behind bars or attend substance abuse treatment, among other potential repercussions. Also, you should plan on having to install a breath alcohol ignition interlock device on your vehicle if you wish to drive during your suspension period. 

Just what is an ignition interlock device, and how does it work? 

How the device works 

Once you have an ignition interlock device on your vehicle, you are going to have to provide a breath sample by blowing into it any time you want to start your car. Once the car is in motion, you are going to have to provide periodic breath samples to prove you have no alcohol on your breath. If you do have alcohol on your breath, the car is not going to fire up or perform as it typically would. 

Also, it is important to note that there are financial implications associated with using an ignition interlock device in Illinois. Typically, there are costs associated with issuing, installing and monitoring the device, and you are the one who is going to be responsible for covering these expenses. 

Refusing the device 

You do have the option of refusing to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle during your suspension period. However, in doing so, you are also forfeiting your right to drive at all during this time. If you decline to install such a device and authorities catch you driving, you should expect to face a felony charge. Similarly, if you install an ignition interlock device and then drive a vehicle that does not have one, this, too, may lead to a felony charge. 

An ignition interlock device is yet another expense you may face in the wake of an Illinois DUI. If you wish to drive to work, school or anywhere else during your period of suspension, though, installing one is unavoidable.