Pennsylvania Ignition Interlock Laws

With more than 49,000 arrests in 2008 for DWI’s, Pennsylvania is all too familiar with the problem of drunken driving on its highways. The state also ranked in the top 5 of alcohol related highway deaths for the same year. Pennsylvania has enacted strict legislation in an effort to curtail the problem of drunk driving. One of the aspects of those new statutes is the implementation and ability for judges to use Ignition Interlock Devices in their post-DUI requirements.

Ignition Interlock Devices are especially efficient at stopping recidivism among drunk drivers. DUI offenders are more apt to repeat offenses than other criminals. This is due in no small part to the fact that many DUI offenders are battling alcohol abuse issues and need medical treatment to beat their addictions. Statistics show that Many drivers involved in fatal alcohol-impaired-driving crashes have been arrested previously for driving while intoxicated (DWI). In 2007, drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 grams per deciliter or higher in fatal crashes were eight times more likely to have a prior conviction for driving while impaired than were drivers with no alcohol (NHTSA, 2008a).

Pennsylvania DUI laws dictate that 2nd time DUI offenders have their licenses suspended for a full year. First time offenders who have a blood alcohol level of .10 or higher also have to give up their licenses for a 12-month period. 3rd time DUI offenders will lose their license for as many as 18 months.

Pennsylvania’s Ignition Interlock statutes dictate that all vehicles owned by DUI offenders may for a first offense and MUST for subsequent offenses have Ignition Interlock Devices installed on them for a period of 1 year following license reinstatement. This is called a restricted license period. There are some exemptions to the IID statute, things like economic hardship or operating an employer’s vehicle after they have been notified that you are a restricted driver, could be exceptions to the IID rules.

IID’s are installed at designated ignition interlock service centers. The DUI offender is responsible to pay the cost of installation as well as the monthly payments. Attempts to tamper or circumvent the IID will result in imposition of further penalties. DUI defendants court ordered to install an IID who are caught operating a vehicle without the device may be charged with an additional misdemeanor offense.

Ignition interlock orders allow DUI offenders to continue working, paying taxes, supporting their families and contributing to society while staying within the legal licensing system. Monitoring drivers allows them to seek treatment and reduces overcrowding in jails. At the same time, it effectively counteracts the problem of drivers continuing to drink and drive with suspended licenses. Smart Start of Pennsylvania has IID locations throughout the state is here to help those who need an ignition interlock device, and we are here to take your call at any time, day or night. Please call on us 24/7 at. There’s no cost or obligation, you can also fill out our easy online appointment form.

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