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What should I know about ignition interlock devices?

On Behalf of | Aug 29, 2019 | DUI Defense

One of the many potential consequences of being served a DUI in the state of Pennsylvania is the requirement of an ignition interlock device.  According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, individuals who are repeat DUI offenders, refuse chemical testing, or those who receive a first-time DUI with very high blood alcohol levels may be required to apply for an ignition interlock limited license. This is where the individual is permitted to operate a motor vehicle but it must be equipped with an ignition interlock device.

For those not in the know, an ignition interlock system is a device intended to prevent the operator of the vehicle from driving if they have consumed alcohol. To operate the ignition interlock device, the driver must blow into the device in order to start the vehicle. Additionally, the ignition interlock device will prompt the driver to blow into the system at random points while operating the vehicle. If any alcohol is detected on the vehicle operator’s breath, the car will not start.

Obtaining an interlock ignition system requires a lease from an approved ignition interlock vendor. The cost of this can be between $900 to $1,300 per year depending on several factors. You must lease an ignition interlock system from a vendor which has the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation approval.

Should the operator of the vehicle refuse to allow the approved vendor to maintain the ignition interlock system or request that the vendor remove the system prior to the legally-specified end of the suspension, then the vendor will notify the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation immediately and the license will be revoked, rendering the individual unable to legally operate motor vehicles.