Being charged with driving under the influence of alcohol is a pretty serious offense. A DUI conviction has major consequences that impact you for months or years after the fact. When you are out with friends, it can be easy to make a poor decision resulting in a DUI charge. Unfortunately, the penalties for a first-time DUI conviction in Pennsylvania are severe.
A first-time offender can lose his driver’s license, in addition to fines and jail time, which makes it difficult to get to school or work. Thanks to a new law, an ignition interlock device may give first-time DUI offenders a second chance by allowing them to keep their driver’s license. However, there are costs that the driver must bear for an ignition interlock device.
What Is An Ignition Interlock Device And Why Is It Needed?
In May 2016, a new bill signed into law changed the penalties for first-time DUI offenders. They now have the ability to use an ignition interlock device after a six-month suspension of the driver’s license. The device, installed on a vehicle, allows the person to drive sooner than the previous law allowed.
Before the new DUI law, first-time offenders with a blood alcohol of 0.10 a one year suspension of their driver’s licenses. With the ignition interlock device installed, the length of the suspension is cut from one year to six months plus with a year of monitoring.
Estimated Cost For An Ignition Interlock Device
Drivers who choose to install an ignition interlock device so they can driver sooner pay the cost of the installation of the device. The cost for installation is typically between $70 and $150. In addition, they must pay a $65 fee for a special license allowing them to use the device and they must buy the unit or lease it, which costs as much as $80 to $100 per month. Since you may need to use the device for one year, the total price could be as much as $1,200 just for the unit.
While this sounds like a lot of money, compare it to the cost of not having a driver’s license. If you pay for a taxi to take you to work, the cost quickly becomes too expensive to manage. Any other trips around town would be in addition to your cost to get to work. If you rely on family and friends, you have the problem of finding someone who is available each day to take you to and from work, in addition to all the other errands you must run each week.
Monetary cost isn’t the only consideration when deciding if you want to use an ignition interlock device to get your driver’s license back sooner. Factor in the fact that you must prove you aren’t drunk before you can start your car. You blow into the unit each time you want to start your vehicle. The vehicle only starts if your blood alcohol content is below the legal limit.
This device can give you the freedom to go where you want whenever you choose. However, it comes with a cost, both monetary and physically. If you rely on your vehicle to get to work and if you want the independence that comes from being able to drive, an ignition interlock device may be worth the price. Just make sure you understand all aspects of this option before accepting it.
Have You Been Charged With DUI?
If you have been charged with driving under the influence, you need an Edinboro DUI attorney, even if this is your first offense. A conviction for DUI can negatively impact your future by limiting your choices. Don’t let a DUI stop you from driving. Contact The Travis Law Firm by calling (800) 401-2066 to schedule a free consultation with an Edinboro DUI attorney. Our attorneys keep up with the latest change in Pennsylvania DUI laws so we can offer you sound legal advice on your options for dealing with an Edinboro DUI charge.