Anyone who has ever been arrested for suspected drunk driving in Pennsylvania knows that the potential penalties for a conviction can be very serious. The effect of a criminal offense on a person’s record, the financial costs and even the potential that a person may have to spend time in jail can be a lot to overcome. To add to the difficulties that defendants may experience is the chance of having driving privileges suspended.

A new law that is expected to be signed by the Pennsylvania Governor soon will change the penalties surrounding license suspensions for people who are convicted of driving under the influence charges. Once passed, the law will go into effect in the summer of 2017. This law will allow people to continue to drive but only after having ignition interlock devices installed in their vehicles. IIDs are comprised of handheld breath test units connected to electronic controls on vehicle ignitions.

A driver is not allowed to even start the ignition of a vehicle until a breath test is first taken and passed. The goal of these units is to prevent anyone who is intoxicated from operating a car, truck or other motor vehicle. Essentially, in exchange for the right to drive, people must submit to these tests before every vehicle journey. Current Pennsylvania law requires IIDs for anyone convicted of a second or subsequent DUI offense. The new law will now mandate IIDs for all convicted persons, even those convicted for first offenses.

Drivers who have been charged with impaired driving offenses may want to contact a lawyer to learn more about the laws and their defense options.


Source: Philly Voice, “Pennsylvania to expand ignition-locks as DUI arrests increase ,” May 18, 2016