New Illinois law overhauls DUI sentences

A new driving under the influence overhaul in Illinois aims to save taxpayers money by taking convicted drunk drivers out of jail and eliminating mandatory license sentences.

Instead of suspending their licenses, convicted drunk drivers will now be allowed to get behind the wheel with a breath alcohol testing ignition.

Unfortunately, not everyone drinks responsibly, which is why Illinois State Police troopers like Joey Watson are trained to be on the lookout for drunk drivers.

"Alcohol is involved in about 33 percent of cases where a fatality occurs, and we’re trying to lower that number by aggressive enforcement," Watson said.

In the past, a DUI conviction could mean 30 days in jail and losing your license for a year.

However, a new state law eliminates those restrictions and puts drivers back on the road with a breath alcohol ignition interlock device.

"It’s been around for a while, and it seems to be successful," Watson said. "Any tool law enforcement can utilize to lower the number of alcohol-related incidents is a tool in the public’s favor."

If convicted of a DUI, a breathalyzer interlock ignition could cost you between $150 and $200 for installation, in addition to a $100 monthly maintenance fee.

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