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For most defendants who have been convicted of a second or subsequent DUI in Pennsylvania, their driver’s license will be suspended for at least one full year. After the one year suspension, a driver can apply for a limited license; however, all defendants with a second or subsequent DUI conviction must install an ignition interlock device on their vehicles for a period of one year. The ignition interlock device must be installed on any vehicles that are driven by the defendant before the driver can apply for either a restored license or a restricted occupational limited license.
Failure to comply with the Pennsylvania ignition interlock laws carries severe penalties. Any driver who is required to have an ignition interlock device on their car, but does not comply with the requirements faces mandatory fines, jail, and additional license suspension.
Attorney Michael J. Skinner represents individuals charged with DUI and ignition interlock violations in West Chester, Pennsylvania, as well as the surrounding areas in Delaware County. Contact the Skinner Law Firm today for a consultation regarding your DUI and ignition interlock device at (610) 436-1410.
An ignition interlock device is a machine installed in a driver’s vehicle to measure the alcohol content in the driver’s breath before his or her vehicle will start. The ignition interlock device will not permit a car to start if the device detects alcohol at a level greater than .02%. It also measures a driver’s blood alcohol concentration at random intervals while driving called a “rolling” feature. The device will shut down a moving vehicle if it detects alcohol at a level greater than .02%. In addition, it will register a violation if a driver fails to respond during a “rolling” period, although it will not shut down a moving car for failure to respond.
The ignition interlock device is also known as the "rolling breathalyzer" because it is similar to the breathalyzer machine used by law enforcement officers to measure a person’s BAC.
Under the current law, all drivers who are required to install ignition interlock devices must install the devices on all vehicles owned or leased in their name. In addition, drivers must apply for a restricted license. Only after defendants serve a period of one year with an ignition interlock, he or she can apply for an unrestricted license.
Only certain companies have been approved to install court-mandated ignition interlock devices. Companies that have been approved to install the ignition interlock device in the southeastern Pennsylvania include:
There are limited exemptions for drivers who are required to install an ignition interlock device. The exemptions include:
Financial Hardship Exemption for the Ignition Interlock Device - Drivers may apply for an exemption from the requirement to install the ignition interlock device on all of their vehicles if they face substantial, undue financial hardship. If the exemption is granted, ignition interlock installation will only be required on one vehicle. However, a driver is not permitted to operate any vehicle that is not equipped with the device.
Employment Exemption for the Ignition Interlock Device - Under certain circumstances, ignition interlock restricted drivers may operate employer-owned vehicles, but only in the course and scope of employment. The employee must notify the employer of the ignition interlock restriction and carry notarized proof of employer notification. The employer-owned vehicle cannot be a self-employed vehicle owned by a restricted driver, a vehicle allowed for personal use, a vehicle for school purposes or a large passenger vehicle.
Violations of the ignition interlock device requirements carry severe punishments. Violations include:
In addition to the above, driver’s may be required to undergo an additional period of license suspension and/or an additional period of ignition interlock. If a driver is subject to an additional license suspension, the additional period of an ignition interlock will not start until the license suspension ends.
If you have been charged with DUI in Chester County or Delaware County with violating the requirements of an ignition interlock device, contact the Skinner Law Firm today. Attorney Michael J. Skinner will hear the facts of your particular case, and make every effort to help you avoid severe penalties. Contact the Skinner Law Firm at (610) 436-1410 for a consultation about your ignition interlock device questions or concerns associated with your DUI offense.