Pennsylvania Ignition Interlock Program

Pennsylvania Ignition Interlock Program

Understanding the Ignition Interlock Law in Pennsylvania

Ignition interlock systems are required for those with high blood alcohol levels or for those who refuse to take a Breathalyzer test. If the individual wishes to drive under a restricted license, they must have an interlock system installed in their vehicle. It must remain in the vehicle for as long as the restricted license is operational. 

Who Is Required to Install a System?

When a driver violates the law against driving while inebriated or has tested positive for controlled substances and has their driving privileges suspended, they must use an ignition interlock. There are exceptions to this rule, and your DUI attorney will be able to discuss them with you.

Prior Offenses and the Ignition Interlock Program

Having a prior offense means that you must install an ignition interlock system. However, this depends on the time between the prior offense and the latest incident. Basically, to be considered a second offense, it must occur within 10 years from the time the first occurred.  Note: when a driver accepts an Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD), it will be considered a prior offense.

Facts About the System

An interlock device prevents a driver from using the car or truck if they are inebriated. The driver must blow into the ignition interlock to start the vehicle. If they blow a high blood alcohol content (BAC), the vehicle will not start. Afterward, once the vehicle is moving, the driver will blow into the device upon request. If it is positive, the vehicle will cease moving. 

Cost of the System

The system is leased from a vendor and the cost varies. The routine cost is between $900 to $1,300 annually. The expense for the system is covered by the driver.

How Long Does the Driver Need to Use the System?

Under state law, the system must be used for one year from the time the operator’s ability to drive is restored. If the driver is caught driving without a system in place or if it is tampered with, the time for using the interlock will be extended for another year. This use starts from the conviction date for these infractions. 

What Kind of System Do I Need?

The Pennsylvania Bulletin publishes approved systems. PennDot is charged with publishing the ignition interlock systems.

Getting a System License

Thirty days before the restoration date, a letter will be sent that lists the requirements for restoring driving privileges. This letter will contain an application for the interlock license and a list of the approved vendors. Once PennDOT certifies that a system has been installed in any vehicle the driver will use, a license will be sent. Until this happens, the driver may not operate the vehicle(s). 

Cost of an Ignition Interlock License

This varies from one place to another. There is a fee chart posted on the PennDOT webpage.

Travis Law Firm

Travis Law will help a client during each phase of a DUI charge. This includes the ignition interlock system. Call us at (814) 277-2222 for help if you have been stopped for a DUI. We can also be reached online