House Bill 3533, which makes it harder for repeat DUI offenders to have their license reinstated, passed the Illinois Senate in May 2015. Where once repeat offenders were required, as part of their sentencing, to use an ignition interlock for only 12 months before being able to apply for license reinstatement, House Bill 3533 would increase this time period to five years.
Ignition interlocks — in legal parlance termed BAIID, short for Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device) will not allow the driver a start their vehicle if he/she blows higher than .025 blood alcohol level. BAIID devices keep a log of both successful starts and failures, and these logs are checked regular monthly basis to ensure compliance. To address instances of cheating — for example, having someone else start the car for you — BAIID devices randomly require offenders to blow into the device during trips.
This bill was inspired by the death of 17 year old Caitlin Weese, who was killed just weeks before graduation from Larkin High School in Elgin in 2003. The driver of the vehicle, James Stitt, had two prior convictions, a suspended license, and a pending Palatine, IL DUI case. Upon learning this, Weese’s family began a campaign for tougher DUI laws. “Our family put a lot of effort into moving this bill forward, and to see it not only pass both chambers, but the committees in both chambers, unanimously, is a pretty good feeling,” said Weese’s step-father Joel Mains upon learning that the Bill was passed by the Senate enroute to Governor Bruce Rauner’s desk.