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updated: 3/8/2012 1:10 PM

Ramey proposes monitoring devices for DUI offenders

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  • State Rep. Randy Ramey

    State Rep. Randy Ramey

By Ryan Voyles

SPRINGFIELD -- After his DUI conviction last year, Republican state Rep. Randy Ramey of Carol Stream is moving a plan in Springfield to offer more monitoring options for convicted drunken drivers.

The plan would allow those convicted of a DUI to wear a monitoring device that can detect traces of alcohol in the person's body and send reports to the secretary of state's office.

Already, most DUI offenders must install a device they blow into before they can drive to prove they haven't been drinking.

Ramey, who is in a Republican primary battle against Carole Pankau for a state Senate seat in District 23, said he was given the choice to wear the monitoring device for 90 days and said it would be an option for people who don't always want to get into a vehicle and blow to start the engine.

"It's not as obtrusive, but it's on you 24/7," Ramey said. "You're always being monitored, so that's why you don't drink at all."

The bill passed a House committee 9-0 Wednesday, but Ramey said he would wait to push it further until he came to an agreement with the secretary of state's office, which has concerns about how well the monitoring would work.

"They report legal conduct, but don't prevent illegal conduct," said Nathan Maddox, senior legal adviser for the secretary of state's office.

The option for the monitoring device is usually available, but state law doesn't require it be offered.

"It's intended to enhance the program we already have," Ramey said.

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