DUI Repeat Offenders – “Ignition Interlock” Could be Your Next Penalty

As a Pennsylvania DUI Lawyer, I have seen the penalties for Driving Under the Influence charges change and fluctuate over the years.  The legal blood alcohol limit has moved from .10 down to .o8, jail time and fines have increased, and driver’s suspensions have been made longer.    Starting in 2003, a more obtrusive and costly requirement was added by the Pa. legislature to further penalize those that the law deemed to be “repeat offenders” of Pennsylvania’s DUI Law.  

This is when the requirement that an “ignition interlock” was instituted and it goes like this:  If you have sustained a second DUI charge in the spanIgnition Interlock of ten years, PennDot requires that you attach a mechanism to your vehicle which requires you to breathe into it.  If there is alcohol on your breath your vehicle will not start.  When your car does start, and while you are operating your vehicle, the interlock will require you to periodically blow into it or the car will shut down.  It is inconvenient and overreaching.

That is what the law requires.  More facts:  It costs in excess of $1,000 a year to have it installed and maintained.  It must be placed on every vehicle the driver owns.   The driver must get a special ignition interlock license.  If the driver operates any motor vehicle not equipped with an ignition interlock that person is subjected to fines, additional license suspension, and possible jail time.

Being convicted of drinking and driving charges costs so much and the ignition interlock requirement has taken the punishment even further.  Next time you get behind the wheel after having a few drinks, think about having to breathe into a tube connected to your car for a year of your life while paying for the privilege to do so.  It’s not so appealing.   Stay safe.


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