The device that locks up a car until the driver blows an alcohol-free breath into it is something of which State Rep. Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) wants more. She wants the breath activated ignition interlock device, or BAIID, on DUI offenders’ cars for five years, not just one. She says research supports the idea, adding rehabilitation is as important as punishment.
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“Before the fifth, sixth year, there could be a 60 percent chance of relapse,” Wheeler said. “Your suspended license – you’re not driving for a couple of years. You get a restricted driver’s license, (and) you have a BAIID machine for five years, and that, hopefully, puts you seven years into recovery, and that’s where we wanted to put people.”
Wheeler says the idea came from an unlikely source – Joel Mains, the man whom she defeated in the November election. Mains’ stepdaughter died in a drunken-driving crash 10 years ago, and the offender relapsed after prison and one year of BAIID.