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What are PA’s ignition interlock laws?

On Behalf of | Sep 15, 2020 | Dui |

Every state in the country has strict laws against operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, and every state has ignition interlock laws. While not all DUI charges in Pennsylvania results in an ignition interlock device requirement, many do. Understanding what charges will result in an ignition interlock mandate in Pennsylvania is important.

Maintaining an ignition interlock device on your vehicle is costly and bothersome. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, it is possible for first time DUI offenders to need an ignition interlock in their vehicles following DUI conviction.

When do I need an ignition interlock device?

If you are a repeat DUI offender, the law requires you to install an ignition interlock device in your car if you wish to continue to drive. Individuals who decide to refuse chemical testing when the police pull them over under suspicion for DUI must also install an ignition interlock device. Finally, first time DUI offenders who have very high blood alcohol levels also need ignition interlock devices.

What does an ignition interlock device do?

An ignition interlock device prevents you from operating a vehicle while intoxicated. It essentially acts like a breathalyzer. If you breathe into the device and it detects alcohol on your breath, the car will not start. Additionally, the ignition interlock device will require that you breathe into it multiple times while operating the vehicle. This is to make sure you did not drink alcohol after turning on the car.

You will also have a special ignition interlock limited license while the court requires you to have an ignition interlock device. This license forbids you from operating any vehicle that does not have an ignition interlock device.