When is an Ignition Interlock Device Required for a DUI in Pennsylvania?

An Ignition Interlock Device (IID) is a wise option for anyone convicted of a DUI since it can allow you to get your license back earlier and start driving again. Whether it’s required or not typically depends on your state’s legislature.

What Is an IID?

An Ignition Interlock Device is a small breathalyzer device that measures the amount of alcohol in your breath (BAC or Blood Alcohol Content). It is often installed in a vehicle after the driver receives a DUI, DWI, OWI, or OVI. At other times, individuals use it to prevent a drunk driving accident.

Depending on your state’s requirements, your IID may come with a camera. The camera’s purpose is to ensure that it is actually you blowing on the device prior to driving.

In addition, if an IID must be installed, it will require regular maintenance for calibration and to check the device for accuracy and attempted circumvention.

When Is an IID Required after a DUI Conviction?

Every state has different requirements for when an IID must be installed and used in a vehicle after a DUI conviction. These stipulations typically vary based on the level of the offense. For example, there’s no requirement for an ignition interlock device after a first-time DUI conviction but it’s usually mandatory after a fourth charge.

First Time DUI Requirements

An IID is not typically required for a first time DUI. Only if you had a higher BAC or someone was injured because of your DUI, then an IID may be required.

In Pennsylvania, your license will be suspended for 12 months if you’re convicted for your first DUI offense. However, you may be offered the option of getting an IID in order to get your full driving privileges back sooner.

There are some states; however, that require an IID for all DUI offenders, including: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Kansas, Kentucky, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia. 

Second Time DUI Requirements

Your license will be suspended for 12 months for a second DUI conviction in Pennsylvania. Initially, you will not be eligible for limited driving privileges with an IID. However, after 12 months, you may choose to use one to restore your license.

Third Time or Subsequent DUIs

Third time DUIs and subsequent ones are very serious in any state. You are almost surely looking at time in jail plus serious fines and license restoration charges.

In Pennsylvania, you will lose your license for 12-18 months at a minimum, and you won’t be allowed to regain driving privileges before that period. Nevertheless, after at least 12 months, you may be able to get limited driving privileges by using an IID in your vehicle.

How to Get the Best Outcome In Your Case

Always remember that an IID installation is a way that you can prove you won’t be drinking and driving again and reduce your chances of becoming a repeat offender.

In fact, pairing it with attending alcohol highway safety school, or drug and alcohol treatment is a way to go the extra mile to complete all the requirements specified by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) in your Restorations Requirement Letter.

By installing it, you’ll keep your community safer and get a better outcome in your case!

Article by: Mike Worgul, Criminal Defense Attorney

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