Ignition Interlock laws in PA are undergoing huge changes. Pennsylvania Act 33 of 2016 amended Title 75 (Vehicle Code) to create a new “Ignition Interlock Limited License”. In Pennsylvania, an Ignition Interlock device prevents a vehicle from being started unless the operator provides a breath sample indicating a BAC of less than .025%. These devices have been around for decades, but they are being increasingly used around the world to combat drunk driving. At this time, the devices used in Pennsylvania cannot detect drugs besides alcohol. DUI marijuana The new law creating the Ignition Interlock Limited License requires more individuals convicted of DUI (for both alcohol and drugs) to install the Ignition Interlock, but it also allows those drivers to get back on the road much sooner. Specifically, suspension times can be cut in half so long as the ignition interlock device is installed on a defendant’s vehicle.
The Old Law
Up until August of 2017, Pennsylvania law only required an ignition interlock device to be installed by second and subsequent DUI offenders. This meant that individuals who were convicted of a second or subsequent DUI would be required to install the II on all vehicles owned by or registered to them for one year following the required license suspension of 12 months or 18 months (depending on the offense number and BAC tier).
Under the old law, drivers receiving a 12-month suspension for a first DUI could apply for an Occupational Limited License (OLL) after serving 60 days of the suspension. Drivers receiving an 18-month license suspension could, in certain circumstances, receive an OLL after serving 12 months and installing the II device. In each instance, the OLL was a “bread and butter” license meaning it could only be used for work, school, or medical reasons. With the advent of the IILL, the Occupational Limited License (OLL) statute, 75 Pa.C.S. § 1553, now specifically bars people serving license suspensions for DUI’s and refusals from receiving an OLL – they must apply for an IILL instead. DUI 2 hour rule The OLL is now obsolete as a mechanism for individuals convicted of DUI or refusal to drive again – rather, the OLL only applies to those who have a suspended license for other violations of the Vehicle Code. Importantly, unlike the OLL, the IILL does not restrict individuals from driving only to and from work, school, or medical appointments. Individuals with the new IILL can drive anywhere, as long as the vehicle is equipped with an II device.