D’Amico cracks down on drunk drivers

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A new law introduced by state Rep. D'Amico, D-Chicago, will expand the use of alcohol-detecting ignition locks ensuring that repeat DUI offenders cannot get behind the wheel intoxicated again.

“When reckless drivers make the selfish decision to drive intoxicated and endanger lives on the road, we need to make sure the appropriate measures are in place to prevent driving drunk again,” D’Amico said. “By monitoring the alcohol intake of offenders trying to drive, we can help keep our roads safe.”

In 2013, 32 percent of Illinois’ total crash fatalities were alcohol-related crashes. In response to this alarming figure, D’Amico partnered with the Secretary of State’s office to pass Senate Bill 627. This bill expands the use of Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Devices (BAIID) for DUI offenders, if issued a restricted driving permit. BAIIDs require the driver to pass a breath test before starting their cars. If the device is tampered with or the driver tries to drive intoxicated, the device will alert the Secretary of State.

Currently, DUI offenders are prohibited from driving for a certain period, but can apply for restricted driving permits in which a BAIID is required as a condition of two or more DUIs within ten years. D’Amico’s legislation would require repeat offenders to install a BAIID as a condition of a driving permit within any period of time. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, ignition interlocks reduce repeat DWI offenses by about 70 percent while installed.

D’Amico’s new law also requires DUI offenders to sign the “Warning to Motorists,” a warning already given verbally to offenders to explain the consequences of chemical testing.

“My mission as Secretary of State is to make the roads of Illinois the safest ever,” said Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White. “This legislation will further strengthen our state’s DUI laws, which will make our roads safer and save lives. I want to applaud Rep. John D’Amico for being such in leader in the General Assembly on traffic safety issues.”

“Increasing the use of BAIIDs in Illinois can help prevent injuries and save lives from alcohol-related crashes,” D’Amico. “My work to make the roads as safe as possible is far from over, but with this measure, Illinois takes a step to reducing repeat offenses and helping end drunk driving.”

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