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What is Pennsylvania's ignition interlock law?

In an effort to decrease the number of highway crashes and deaths, reduce the number of people convicted of a second or subsequent DUI offense and to increase highway safety, the state of Pennsylvania passed the Ignition Interlock Law. When someone is convicted of a second DUI or more, he or she is required to have an ignition interlock system on each vehicle that he or she owns, leases or operates for at least a year. However, a one-year suspension of his or her driver's license must be served first.

An ignition interlock device keeps someone from starting a motor vehicle until he or she blows into the devise. Should the device detect alcohol, the vehicle will not start. While the driver is operating the vehicle, he or she must also blow into it to show that he or she is not drinking and driving. If the vehicle is used by other people who are not required to have an ignition interlock device installed, they will still need to blow into the device in order for the vehicle to start.

The cost of an ignition interlock device averages about $1,000. The cost is paid by the defendant. In order to drive a vehicle that has an ignition interlock device on it, the person must apply for an Ignition Interlock License. Once a vendor installs the device, the person will receive one's license.

If you have been charged with driving under the influence, it's important to begin developing your defense strategy right away. An experienced Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney can provide more information on your legal options.

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, "Ignition Interlock Law," accessed April 22, 2016

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