Act 33 of 2016 dealing with ignition interlock was passed on May 25, 2016 and went into effect 15 months later – August 25, 2017. Act 33 created a new section to set out the terms of the new Ignition Interlock law. It requires those with suspended licenses due to DUI or chemical testing refusals to install an Ignition Interlock device on all vehicles they will be operating. An individual with an Ignition Interlock still is considered to have a suspended license. DUI first offense Act 33 applies the Interlock requirement to even first-time offenders if they had a BAC of .10 or higher or are convicted of a controlled substance DUI. It does not apply to first-time offenders convicted under § 3802(a)(1) – general impairment, or §3802(a)(2) – BAC .08 to <.10. It also does not apply to those accepted into the ARD program – as of now, those individuals do not need to install the Interlock device and must serve the entirety of their (shortened) license suspension of 30, 60, or 90 days. (However, Act 30 of 2017 changed this, and effective October 20, 2018, individuals placed on ARD may, but are not required to, install the II in order to drive immediately).
Those facing a license suspension for a first-offense DUI may, rather than serving a full 12-month license suspension, apply for Ignition Interlock immediately after installing the device in each vehicle to be operated. They must have the Interlock for one year before applying for an unrestricted license. If they opt to wait and serve the 12-month suspension, they still must subsequently have the Interlock for one year. Old ignition law There is no benefit to waiting out the suspension.
For those facing a license suspension for a second or subsequent DUI or a chemical testing refusal, the individual must serve half of the suspension (6 out of 12 months or 9 out of 18 months) before applying for the Ignition Interlock. Thirty days prior to eligibility, the individual should receive a Restoration Requirements Letter from PennDOT with an application for the Interlock enclosed.