June 25, 2013
The Fourth of July is a time to gather with friends and family to celebrate and honor the birth of our great nation. I urge everyone to celebrate safely and responsibly and above all do not drink and drive. I would like to also take this opportunity to outline a new program my office is launching to further combat drunk driving.
On July 1, my office is implementing an upgrade to our state’s innovative Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device program which entails requiring an in-car camera to accompany every BAIID. The law change provides additional accountability to a program that has received national acclaim as a model in the fight against drunk driving. The in-car camera technology will help eliminate any doubt that the user of the BAIID is in fact the DUI offender.
I am proud of our state’s heralded BAIID program. When we expanded it in 2009 to include first time DUI offenders, we became only the second state in the nation to do so. Since the expansion of BAIID, drunk driving deaths have decreased by 24 percent. Mothers Against Drunk Driving awarded Illinois with a five star rating — the highest ranking possible — for our state’s efforts to combat drunk driving. And last year, the National Transportation Safety Board recommended other states follow Illinois’ lead and implement a similarly comprehensive BAIID program.
We can take pride in the fact that our state has become a national leader in the fight against drunk driving. Our efforts have saved countless lives. But we cannot get complacent. I urge everyone to drive safely and responsibly this Fourth of July holiday and beyond. Let’s enjoy family and friends, and let’s stay safe on our roadways.
— Jesse White, Illinois Secretary of State
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