After that, you must get a restricted license and install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. This device tests your breath alcohol content before and during every ride and records all your test results.
To avoid a costly ignition interlock device, you have to win your DUI case. The best way to do that is by working with an experienced DUI defense lawyer.
Attorney Michael J. Skinner represents individuals charged with DUI and ignition interlock violations in West Chester, Phoenixville, Exton, Wayne, Kennett Square, Oxford, Coatesville, or Chester County. Call the Skinner Law Firm at (610) 436-1410 or reach out online to set up a free consultation.
An ignition interlock device can be costly, and it is in your best interest to understand all the options you have to avoid one.
The best way to avoid the ignition interlock device requirement is to work with an attorney to beat the DUI charges. You should contact a DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible after your arrest. Skinner Law Firm will review your circumstances and explain how the law applies to your case.
We’ll also explain your potential defenses and the likelihood of a dismissal or acquittal. Another option may be Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition, which is available to many first-time offenders. However, ARD may still require you to use an ignition interlock device.
Pennsylvania law doesn’t require an ignition interlock device in every DUI case. You won’t need it if you’re convicted of a first DUI without a high BAC.
But there are several cases when Pennsylvania requires ignition interlock devices:
Ignition interlock devices are intuitive and include a variety of features that work to prevent future DUIs.
An ignition interlock device is installed in a vehicle to measure the driver’s breath alcohol content. If the device detects alcohol at .02% or higher, it won’t let the driver start the vehicle. These devices have cameras to ensure the vehicle’s driver takes the test and no one else.
Usually, a driver can retest after a particular amount of time to try and start the car again. In some cases, several failed tests permanently lock the vehicle, and the driver has to get it towed to a service center.
The device also measures a driver’s BAC at random intervals while driving. This is called a “rolling” feature. The device can’t stop a moving vehicle if it detects alcohol, but it records the violation. Some devices may sound an alarm. It also registers a violation if a driver fails to respond to a “rolling retest.”
The device records the result of each test. You’ll have to take your vehicle to a service center regularly so a technician can pull the data and send it to the monitoring agency. How often you have to do this depends. It could be every month, 60 days, or quarter.
Along with receiving an ignition interlock device, there are a set of rules that must be followed to make sure it is used properly.
If a court requires you to install an ignition interlock device, you must put one in all vehicles you own or lease. You’re responsible for finding an approved installer and paying for it.
You also must pay for maintenance and removal. If this would cause financial hardship, you can ask for an exemption. If it’s approved, you only have to install the device on one vehicle.
During this time, you cannot drive any vehicle without an ignition interlock device, even for work, unless you obtain a specific exemption.
Before you can drive with your ignition interlock device, you’ll have to apply for a restricted license. You have to use the ignition interlock device for one year, and only once you complete that year can you apply for an unrestricted license again.
Ignition interlock devices are taken seriously. There can be serious penalties if any of these rules are violated, and violations can occur in many ways.
If the police find you driving a vehicle without an ignition interlock device, you face an ungraded misdemeanor offense. You could go to jail for up to 90 days and pay a fine of up to $1,000.
If the police pull you over and find you’re driving without an ignition interlock device and you have alcohol in your system, you’ll be charged with a third-degree misdemeanor. Even if you have as little as .025% of alcohol in your body, you can go to jail for up to 90 days and pay a $1,000 fine.
Another common violation is tampering with the device, which could mean trying to remove it from your car, disable it, or having someone else provide a breath sample when you intend to drive. Tampering is an ungraded misdemeanor, punishable by up to 90 days in jail and up to a $1,000 fine.
Additionally, if you violate the ignition interlock device regulations, you may lose your license or have to use the device for a longer time.
If you’ve been charged with a DUI or violating an ignition interlock device requirement, call Michael J. Skinner today. He’s here to listen to your story, investigate your case and will work hard to help you avoid harsh penalties.