Happy Hour is officially back in Illinois. Governor Bruce Rauner signed a bill into law that allows the return of happy hour alcoholic drink specials. Happy hour drink specials have been banned under Illinois law since 1989.
The original ban was instituted to prevent drunken driving fatalities. In 2013, 317 people were killed in alcohol related crashes, representing 32 percent of the 991 crash fatalities in Illinois, and 34,611 DUI arrests were recorded. In 1988, the year before the happy hour ban went into effect, 912, or 49.6 percent, of the 1,847 fatal crashes in Illinois were alcohol related.
While there may be a correlation between the decrease in the number of alcohol related fatalities and the ban on Happy Hour, a more rigorous study needs to be performed before someone could say there is a cause and effect relationship between the two events. Since 1989, Illinois and the Office of the Secretary of State has taken significant steps to curtail drunk driving fatalities. In particular, the administration of breath alcohol ignition devices (BAIID) for those whose Restricted Driving Permits (RDPs) are conditioned upon the installation and use of these devices.
A variety of different categories of DUI offenders may be required to have a BAIID device installed in their vehicle if they would like to continue to drive. For example, individuals whose licenses have been revoked or suspended due to two or more convictions of violating 625 ILCS 5/11-501(DUIs). The rules governing implementation of the BAIID program are at 92 Ill. Admin. Code Secs. 1001.441 – 1001.443.
Any first time DUI offender who wishes to obtain and is eligible for driving relief during the period of statutory summary suspension is required to have a breath alcohol ignition device (BAIID) installed on his or her vehicle. BAIID devices are not cheap. Installation can cost about $85, monthly fees about $80, and about $30 for monthly monitoring fees to the Secretary of State.
For more information about the new Happy Hour Law and information about BAIID check out: