Pennsylvania Mandatory Ignition Interlock Law For First Time DUI Offenders

In August 2018, Pennsylvania lawmakers passed into law mandatory ignition interlock device requirements for first time DUI offenders. Essentially, the law is this: persons who plead guilty to a first offense DUI, which results in a license suspension, will be required to apply for an ignition interlock limited license (IILL). This device must then be kept in any car they wish to drive for at least a year. Keep in mind, that for persons placed in the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program for a DUI violation which results in a license suspension, the IILL is optional.

An Ignition Interlock system is a device that is installed in a motor vehicle to prohibit an individual under the influence of alcohol from operating the vehicle. The driver is required to blow into the device before starting the vehicle. If the device detects alcohol, it will prevent the vehicle from starting. In addition, at periodic times during the operation of the vehicle, the individual will be prompted to blow into the device to ensure they are not under the influence.

Unlike other types of limited licenses in PA, the IILL does not limit the driver to going to and from work, nor are there any time restrictions on the license. Also, the new law does away with the previous requirement that an ignition interlock be installed in every car or truck registered or jointly registered to the licensee. Rather, the licensee chooses the vehicles in which the device will be installed.

An added benefit of the new law is that certain persons currently suspended for DUI and/or for refusing a chemical test may now be qualified to drive, subject to the new ignition interlock license requirements.

Where To Find Ignition Interlock Device Vendors

For a list of approved ignition interlock vendors, go to the Pennsylvania DUI Association webpage at and select the ignition interlock vendors link in the middle of the homepage. An ignition interlock system must be leased from an approved ignition interlock vendor.

Additionally, the new law requires these installation centers to report violations of the operating rules for the unit directly to PennDOT. PennDOT has the authority to revoke the IILL based upon certain violations or can extend the time that the licensee is required to keep ignition interlock before their regular driving privileges can be restored.

Ignition Interlock Device Cost PA

Cost for installing an ignition interlock device may vary depending on the provider chosen. The system is leased from the ignition interlock vendor. According to PennDOT, the average costs associated with leasing an Ignition Interlock system is between $900 to $1,300 per year. The individual required to have the ignition interlock system is responsible for all costs.

It’s also worth noting that there are some additional costs associated with obtaining an IILL. The application fee for the license is $65.00 and is non-refundable. In addition to the application fee, a restoration fee must be paid, if not already paid, and either a duplicate license or renewal license fee (if driver’s license has expired or will be expiring within six months) is required.

Contact A Traffic Law Lawyer Today!

It’s important to understand the new changes surrounding the mandatory ignition interlock device requirements for first time DUI offenders. If you or someone you know has been charged with a DUI, this law could impact the outcome of your charges.

The first thing you want to to do is speak with an experienced and knowledgeable traffic lawyer who understands the law and can protect your rights. If you have recently been charged with a first time DUI or think you may be eligible for an IILL under the new law, contact Attorney David Hershey for a free initial phone consultation us today at (717) 790-2048.

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