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Pennsylvania Passes Ignition Interlock Device Law for DUI Offenders

The Pennsylvania legislature recently passed Senate Bill 290, which has been dubbed the Ignition Interlock Law.

Now, people convicted of first-time drunk driving offenses with blood alcohol content levels of .10 percent and above can avoid a year-long license suspension if they instead seek a license for an ignition interlock device.

According to state senators who were in favor of the bill, this is a smarter punishment to allow offenders to be able to drive while being closely monitored with the use of an ignition interlock device.

How do ignition interlock devices work?

Many states already mandate the use of ignition interlock devices for those convicted of driving under the influence (DUI). The devices work by connecting to a vehicle’s ignition. The driver must blow into the device before starting the vehicle. If he or she registers a BAC level over a set percentage, the car will not start. This is a strategy that has been used to help curb repeat offenses, serving to both punish and rehabilitate drunk drivers.

In recent years, law enforcement authorities and public officials have been taking a closer look at existing drunk driving laws in the state to figure out alternative ways to punish offenders. In analyzing other ignition interlock device laws across the country, Pennsylvania legislators determined it was one of the most effective tools available to help reduce DUI-related crashes.

Offenders must pay $1,000 to have the ignition interlock system installed in the vehicle they drive. The new law will go into effect in the summer of 2017.

If you’ve been charged with DUI in Berks County, speak with respected Reading DUI defense attorney David R. Eshelman.

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