Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf recently signed a measure to expand PA’s ignition interlock laws to apply to first-time DUI offenses. To read the full story about the new bill, click here.
Previously, Pennsylvania’s DUI laws only required drivers convicted of repeat DUI offenses to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicles. But under the new legislation, it is possible for a driver convicted of a first-offense DUI with a BAC above 0.10% (DUI With High Intoxication) to avoid a one year mandatory license suspension by installing an ignition interlock device instead.
Advocates of this legislation celebrated the recent news after fighting for years to expand Pennsylvania’s IID laws. With the enactment of this new legislation, the State of Pennsylvania will join a long list of states that have already implemented similar laws.
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An ignition interlock device is a type of breathalyzer that is installed in a vehicle and is designed to drunk driving.
Drivers with interlock devices installed in their vehicles are required to blow into a mouthpiece which measures an individual’s blood alcohol concentration before starting the vehicle. If the device registers a BAC above the legal limit then the vehicle’s engine will not start.
In Pennsylvania, the penalties for a DUI charge depend on several factors including a driver’s alleged BAC, as well as any prior DUI-related convictions an individual may have.
With the recent expansion of the ignition interlock program, the penalties for a first-offense DUI conviction in Pennsylvania can include:
Stricter penalties are administered for first offense DUI convictions in which a driver’s alleged BAC is above 0.10% and even stricter for those with an alleged BAC above 0.16%.