You only have to read this article to see why DUI law gets tougher but not any more effective.
I have reposted the article here because I am sure the link will die, and it will make it easier to look closely at why our system is broken and will never be fixed.
(My comments are in ITALICS.)
BILL EXPANDING IN-CAR BLOOD ALCOHOL MONITORING HEADS TO GOVERNOR
By Seth A. Richardson, State Capitol Bureau
The Senate passed a bill Tuesday expanding in-car blood-alcohol monitoring devices for people convicted multiple times of driving under the influence.
House Bill 3533 would require DUI offenders with at least two convictions to submit to the breath-alcohol interlock ignition device, or BAIID, program for at least five years before their licenses could be reinstated.
(See how our legislature is missing the boat by requiring someone with at least two convictions to have the BAIID? A driver doesn’t usually get their second DUI conviction until their fourth DUI (unless of course they are in a strict jurisdiction), so this law starts out by skipping 90% of the DUI cases.)
Rep. Barbara Wheeler, R-Crystal Lake, originally sponsored the bill in the House. Her opponent in the November election, Joel Mains, brought the legislation to Wheeler’s attention.
(Every piece of terrible legislation must start with a tragedy. The logic is that because something horrible happened to someone somewhere, we have to change the rules for all of us. In this case, a guy gets drunk, drives, kills a teenager with a car, gets prison, gets out and then crashes his car again while DUI, because of course he does.)
A drunken driver killed Mains’ stepdaughter, Caitlin Weese, in 2003, one week before her high school graduation. The driver, James Stitt, sentenced to 7 1/2 years in prison before being paroled in 2009. His license was reinstated in 2013.
(The article fails to mention that in order to get his license back he had to complete alcohol counseling and go the the Secretary of State to get his license reinstated; not an easy task. But, he did everything they asked of him, except stop drinking and driving, so he could make a story where we can all hate the evil that was done.)
Two weeks after the November election, a detective informed Mains that Stitt was arrested again for crashing into several cars while drunk.
(What you are not supposed to ask is: How did not having a BAIID device stop this guy from crashing into several cars? Because the answer is: it didn’t.)
The bill passed by a 55-0 vote in the Senate. Sen. Pamela Althoff, R-McHenry, worked closely with Mains and Wheeler.
(And, of course the bill passed by a 55-0 vote because no one dare question the terribleness of the tragedy. Of course the terribleness of the tragedy has nothing to do with the law, but you’re supposed to forget that, remember?)
She said the bill was proof Democrats and Republicans can work together.
“We’re just pleased that we can bring initiatives like this forward,” she said. “It can really make a difference.”
(Yes, Democrats and Republicans can work together when they are passing a law which does not solve the problem for which it was written, perfect.)
The BAIID program began in 1994 and was expanded in 2009 to include summary suspensions for first-time DUI offenders. Alcohol-related DUI cases handled by the Illinois State Police have decreased every year since the expansion, from 7,261 in 2009 to 5,014 in 2014.
(There was a bit of magic that just happened here. Did you see it. The number of DUI cases is down. It was actually reduced by high gas prices and a ban on smoking in bars, however the Illinois State Police are happy to associate it with the BAIID device, because showing government programs work is important — for people who work for the government.)
The bill now moves to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s desk.
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Lest you think that I am attacking the poorly written DUI code without proposing a solution. I proposed a solution here.
Law Dude, Ray Flavin, is a DUI attorney who represents drivers that have been charged with DUI in McHenry County Illinois. His law offices are located across the street from the McHenry County Courthouse in Woodstock, IL.