Martin & Kent, L.L.C. Martin & Kent, L.L.C.

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New Illinois law aims to cut down on DUI repeat offenders

Motorists in Illinois may be interested to learn that a new bill that was introduced by the governor on Aug. 27 will toughen laws against drunk driving. According to the new law, a second and subsequent convictions for DUI will require people to have an ignition interlock device on their vehicle before they can drive. Ignition interlock devices are installed on cars to test an individual's blood alcohol content before the vehicle can be operated.

Under the previous law, people also might have their license suspended. However, this did not prevent some from driving. Rather than suspend the license, the new law will allow individuals to continue driving but will require the use of the ignition interlock device. The senator who co-sponsored the bill said that it will address the problem of drunk drivers as repeat offenders.

There will be an exception for drivers who cause a fatal accident or one that results in serious injuries. Those drivers will not be allowed to drive for a year.

People who are facing a charge for drunk driving may wish to speak to an attorney about their options. While the new bill means that they may still be able to drive if they are convicted rather than facing a license suspension, a drunk driving charge can still have serious repercussions for an individual even if it is a first offense. Depending on a person's career, it might affect job prospects. The person might also face a fine or jail time. However, there are a number of potential defenses that a criminal defense attorney could raise. If an officer does not follow procedure correctly, the case might be dismissed. The defendant might also be innocent. For example, a driver might have a medical condition that causes them to appear impaired when they are not.

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