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DUI ignition interlock employment exemption

Ignition Interlock is not permissible as a result of DUI convictions. Sometimes an individual will be required, for employment purposes, to drive a vehicle for which it is not feasible to install an Ignition interlock device. Defending DUI § 1556(k) provides for an employment exemption that allows for the individual to drive employment vehicles "in the course and scope of employment without installation of an ignition interlock system." In order to do so, the employer must sign a PennDOT provided affidavit (DL-3805), which also must be notarized, stating that the employer is aware that the employee's license is restricted. The employee must carry this notarized form at all times while driving the employment vehicle. The employment exemption does NOT apply when the employee is able to use the employer vehicle for personal use. An individual using any vehicle for personal use must be driving a vehicle with the Interlock device. The employment exemption also does not apply when the employer vehicle is owned by the employee, or an entity that is wholly or partially-owned by the employee. (In other words, a small business owner cannot use the employment exemption to avoid the II requirement in his small business vehicle). Lastly, the employment exemption does not apply to school buses, school vehicles, or vehicles designed to transport more than 15 people. There are costs associated with ignition interlocks as a result of DUI convictions. According to PennDOT, the average cost of leasing an Ignition Interlock device to comply with the requirement is $900 to $1300 per year. The devices are installed by private vendors, which must be on the approved list at padui.org. Some, if not all, of the vendors allow for payment plans to cover the costs. Costs include installation fees, removal fees, monthly lease fees, and calibration fees.

First time DUI offenders are usually eligible for ARD. However, those with non-DUI prior records may not be eligible depending on prosecutorial discretion. Until Act 30 kicks in on October 20, 2018, DUI 2 hour rule first-time offenders eligible for ARD will have a choice to make as to whether to receive the benefits of the ARD program, including expungement and no jail time, while serving up to 90 days of a license suspension, compared with the ability to drive immediately if convicted of a first DUI without placement in the ARD program. While the two or three mandatory days in jail will probably not be worth the trade-off for most defendants, attorneys should be advised of the difference so they can properly advise their clients.

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