Recent Change to Pennsylvania’s Ignition Interlock Laws

States have developed numerous laws to deal with DUI offenses. Currently, Pennsylvania is one of the few states to adopt a law requiring repeat offenders to have an ignition interlock installed on their vehicles. A new law now requires first-time DUI offenders with a high blood alcohol level to install an ignition interlock on their vehicle.  Gov. Wolf said in a statement after signing the new law, “Drunk driving is a deadly crime that puts Pennsylvania families at risk and this legislation will help prevent people from driving drunk and endangering themselves and putting other lives at risk.  We owe it to both motorists and pedestrians to keep them safe and hold people who break DUI laws accountable.”

What is an Ignition Interlock?

An ignition interlock device is a small device designed to prevent future incidents of driving while intoxicated. The device works similar to a breathalyzer. It is attached to the vehicle’s ignition system. A driver must blow into the mouthpiece before they can start the vehicle. If the device does not register alcohol content in the breath, the car will start. However, if the driver is intoxicated, the ignition interlock prevents the vehicle from starting. An ignition interlock can also alert the driver to blow into the device at other times to perform random checks.

Pennsylvania’s Law Regarding Ignition Interlocks

Currently, the DUI laws in Pennsylvania regarding ignition locks require all repeat offenders to have the device installed. The new law requires first-time DUI offenders who had a BAC of .10 or higher to have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle for at least one year. The new law does benefit these first-time DUI offenders by allowing them to keep their driver’s license. Before this new DUI law, first-time offenders faced a one-year suspension of their driver’s license if convicted of a DUI. The new law does not apply to commercial drivers or a driver who causes a DUI accident involving a fatality.

More Information About Pennsylvania DUI Laws

A person with a second or subsequent DUI conviction can have the ignition interlock system installed and apply for an ignition interlock license, which has a red banner and wording that says Limited License. This limited license requires a person to drive a vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device.  There are exceptions to this law. If a person must operate a vehicle as a requirement for employment, he may be allowed to continue driving that specific vehicle provided the employer signs a DL-3805 form. However, this does not apply to a school bus or any other public transportation vehicle for more than 15 passengers. Anyone caught breaking the law by purchasing a new vehicle after the conviction and not having the ignition interlock installed or not having the device serviced will be subject to further punishment.

If you have been charged with a DUI in Pennsylvania, you need to hire an experienced attorney to represent you. A Pennsylvania DUI attorney may be able to help you avoid a DUI conviction, which can impact your life and your career. The repercussions of a conviction include fines, time in jail, and loss of license or driving limitations.

Contact an Experienced Edinboro Pennsylvania Attorney

Contact The Travis Law Firm toll free at (800) 401-2066 to schedule a free consultation with one of our Edinboro DUI attorneys. We listen to your explanation of the events and present you with all of your available options. Trust us to fight for your legal rights as we provide trusted legal counsel to protect your future and your freedom.