Under Illinois law a parent has a fundamental right to parenting time with his or her child. The only way that right can be restricted is if the other parent can prove that parenting time seriously endangered the child’s physical, mental, or moral health, or significantly impaired the child’s emotional development. That requires the parent seeking to restrict parenting time to file a petition with the court, alleging what happened and how it affected the child. The parent seeking the restriction bears the burden of proving the acts which endangered the child actually occurred. In that context, allegations regarding a parent’s alcohol abuse present a fairly common issue in family court.
When alcohol abuse has been proven and the court finds that a child has been endangered as a result, Illinois courts will frequently require some form of breathalyzer testing before and during parenting time, to confirm that the parent who previously endangered the child is sober. A well-drafted court order should specify the time and manner of breathalyzer testing, as well as the consequences for a missed test or a failed test.
Two of the leading products and services in breathalyzer testing are provided by Soberlink and BACTrack, and they are remarkably similar. Each of the companies sells smartphone compatible breathalyzer devices. Each of the companies offers multiple subscription plans for testing and reporting. Each of the companies enjoys a good reputation with the family court judges and with family court attorneys, who regularly order parents to utilize one service or the other.