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New DUI Laws: SCRAM Device

DuPage County, Illinois DUI Law Attorneys

Under the new Illinois DUI laws, first time DUI offenders face a mandatory 6 month license suspension -- 12 months if they refused to blow into a breathalyzer. Second time DUI offenders face a mandatory 12 month license suspension -- 3 years if they refused to blow into a breathalyzer. Due to the severity of these license suspensions, it is extremely important to immediately contact the law office of Michael T. Norris Ltd. and John W. Callahan Ltd. if you have been arrested for a DUI. There are motions that we can file prior to the first court date that may help defeat and rescind that suspension. The more time we have to file these motions, the better our chances of defeating the suspension.

If our primary course of action somehow proves ineffective, we will help a first time offender apply for a DUI hardship license (MDDP). Please note, if you do accept the MDDP you cannot drive for the first 30 days of the suspension or you risk going to jail. In addition, the first time offender must also install either a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) or participate in the Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor (SCRAM) program as a condition of the MDDP.

At Michael T. Norris Ltd. and John W. Callahan Ltd., our lawyers represent DUI offenders. If you are a first time DUI offender who contacts us early enough, we will file the petition to rescind the suspension before the initial court date. Our actions may prevent you from having to deal with any MDDP, BAIID or SCRAM issues. This immediate and aggressive plan of attack is what separates us from other DUI attorneys. In the event you are somehow forced into accepting an MDDP, we will assist you in all matters related to the license suspension, and any false-positive readings from BAIID and SCRAM devices. To schedule an appointment and discuss your case, contact drunk driving defense attorneys at Michael T. Norris Ltd. and John W. Callahan Ltd. today.

2009 Illinois DUI Law Penalties for First and Second Time DUI Offenders

In general, the following penalties attach to first time DUI convictions:

  • License Suspension: Loss of license for 6 months up to 1 year
  • Community Service: 100 hours
  • Fines: Up to $2,500
  • Driver Hardship License: Eligible 31 days after suspension; must participate in BAIID or SCRAM program unless suspension is rescinded

In general, the following penalties attach to second time DUI convictions:

  • Jail: Up to one year
  • License Suspension: Loss of license for 12 months up to 3 years
  • Community Service: 100 hours
  • Fines: Up to $2,500
  • Driver Hardship License: Eligible 31 days after suspension; must participate in BAIID or SCRAM program unless suspension is rescinded

What is the SCRAM Program?

Unlike the ignition interlock device that attaches to a car, the SCRAM device is similar to an ankle monitor. It must be in constant contact with the skin in order to measure alcohol content from the body's perspiration. If a SCRAM participant attempts to tamper with the device or remove it, he or she could have their license suspended and face additional penalties. The cost of a SCRAM device amounts to roughly $15 a day.

Under the SCRAM program, readings are transmitted to a central monitoring location from the device. However, like an ignition interlock device, SCRAM devices can register false-positives under certain situations. Our attorneys have the knowledge and experience needed to challenge false-positives. We consult SCRAM device experts, lab technicians and other professionals as needed to challenge the claims of the prosecution.

What is an Ignition Interlock Device?

A breath alcohol ignition interlock device attaches to your car and functions like a breathalyzer in measuring blood alcohol content (BAC) through the breath. The device will not allow the car to start if BAC is measured above .024. In many instances, a driver may be required to blow into a BAIID at set intervals as he or she drives. It costs $150 to install and requires a monthly fee of $100 for the duration of its installation. In addition, you must also pay a monthly fee of $30 to the Secretary of State for monitoring and administrative costs.

Protecting Your Rights in a BAIID or SCRAM Program

While there has been some independent scientific testing of BAIID and SCRAM devices, false-positives remain a distinct possibility. Unfortunately, if a BAIID or SCRAM device indicates a BAC above the permissible level, you will be presumed guilty until proven innocent. Our attorneys are familiar with all of the scientific issues involved in BAIID and SCRAM device false-positives and will immediately launch our own investigation while asserting your rights before the court.

For more information regarding our practice and how we can help you, contact DUI defense attorneys at the law office of Michael T. Norris Ltd. and John W. Callahan Ltd. today.