As of January 1, 2016, a new law went into effect that will allow certain categories of DUI offenders to drive with an Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP) and Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device, or BAIID. Drivers who may be eligible to drive include:
- First time DUI offenders — defined as drivers who have not had a prior DUI arrest or conviction within the previous 5 years — may, with proper judicial authorization, be allowed to drive during the first 30 days of their DUI statutory summary suspension. Previously, the MDDP allowed eligible first-time offenders to drive beginning on the 31st day of their summary suspension, and not before.
- Second time DUI offenders facing 1 to 3 years summary suspension may, with proper judicial authorization, be allowed to drive during the first year.
- Multiple DUI offenders whose licenses have been revoked (not just suspended) may, with proper judicial authorization, be allowed to drive during the first year.
WHY ALLOW DUI OFFENDERS TO DRIVE?
For decades, law enforcement, government and society have striven to keep DUI-accused and/or DUI-convicted drivers off the roads as a means of discouraging repeat offenses. However, using license suspension and revocations as punishments is often counter-productive; people who need to drive to their jobs in order to support their families and keep a roof over their heads often resort to driving without a license or insurance, leading to harsher sentences and longer periods of restricted driving. Today, however, government, law enforcement, and even groups such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) are calling for expanded use of BAIDD devices to allow offenders to drive while sober, thus encouraging offenders to drive legally and providing a path to rehabilitation and sobriety.
“We’ve always thought that the biggest deterrent was removing someone’s driver’s license. But with all the plea bargaining going on and with the different loopholes, it was really not doing a whole lot of good if people were given their driver’s license back anyway,” says Rita Kreslin of Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists, which is based in Schaumburg. “It’s a win-win for everybody to make sure that a person is driving legally and has insurance.”
HOW DO I OBTAIN AN MDDP & BAIID?
Drivers interested in obtaining an MDDP and breath-alcohol ignition interlock device may find that the requirements for such are neither easy nor cheap. It is up to the accused individual to cover the cost of the permit fees, BAIID installation, and any monthly monitoring charges, as well as any attorney fees involved. But these costs are generally well worth it in order to drive legally while a DUI case is pending trial.