Pennsylvania’s new Ignition Interlock Law is both reassuring and disconcerting for the state’s more than eight-million drivers. With a goal to improve safer travel, the law is a positive step for drivers charged with DUI or the refusal of a chemical test. The law allows for a possible Ignition Interlock Limited License so that people can retain employment.

What some drivers may find disconcerting is the toughness of the law, which makes an Ignition Interlock device mandatory for first-time offenders. If you are charged with a DUI or for refusing to submit to chemical testing, contact a Pennsylvania criminal defense lawyer without delay. Your future as a licensed Pennsylvania driver depends on hiring skilled legal representation.

Understanding an Ignition Interlock System

The only Ignition Interlock system is a device that drivers must blow into to start their vehicles. If the device detects alcohol, the vehicle will not start. In addition, drivers must blow into the device at different times during their travels to assure the system they are not driving under the influence.

Ignition Interlock systems are not cheap—the average cost to lease the device is about $1,000, and the person required to install the system bears responsibility for that cost.

Changes to Pennsylvania Ignition Interlock Law

A new Ignition Interlock law—part of Act 33, signed into law in May 2016—took effect in August 2017, making the device mandatory for first-time and repeat DUI offenders with high blood alcohol levels and for people who refuse chemical testing.

Ignition Interlock Limited License

One key outcome of the new law is the establishment of an Ignition Interlock Limited License. Under Pennsylvania law, a person may apply for an ignition Interlock Limited License if the state revokes or suspends a driver’s license for one or more of the following reasons:

An Ignition Interlock system license allows a person to operate a motor vehicle equipped with a functioning Ignition Interlock system during the term, or part of the term, of a suspension or revocation.

The following characteristics identify the license:

  • A red banner displayed behind the word Pennsylvania
  • The words, LIMITED LICENSE at the top of the license
  • The words, IGNITION INTERLOCK LICENSE in the yellow map of Pennsylvania

To apply for an Ignition Interlock License, drivers must submit a completed petition and other documents, along with any required fees. For people applying due to license suspension or revocation due to the refusal of chemical testing, additional fees may apply. A chemical test refusal restoration fee—one-half the amount of the chemical test—is due by certified check or money order.

Call a Pennsylvania DUI Attorney for Questions About the New Ignition Interlock Law

A night out with friends can quickly turn into a serious legal problem when police charge a person with a DUI. Pennsylvania imposes significant consequences on anyone who violates driving privileges, so protect your rights and retain an experienced DUI lawyer.

To understand more about the new Ignition Interlock Law and special license, call the Skinner Law Firm at (610) 436-1410 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation. Your freedom to travel on Pennsylvania streets and highways depends on the outcome of your DUI case. Let us help you navigate the legal process. We work hard to secure the best possible outcome for our clients.

Article Author

Michael J. Skinner, the founder of Skinner Law Firm LLC, is a former prosecutor with the Chester County District Attorney’s Office.

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