Pennsylvania Interlock Laws And Penalties
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has very strict laws governing those who drive under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, whether you are a first, second, or third offender. The ignition interlock law was implemented by the government in order to reduce highway crashes, reduce highway fatalities and deter repeat DUI offenders. If you were arrested for driving under the influence in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and this is your second offense, you are required to install an ignition interlock device in each vehicle owned or registered to the offender for at least one-year’s time.
An offender ordered to install an ignition interlock device on a vehicle(s) will have to bear the costs of the equipment and the installation work. Each device will be rented to the driver and installed at a price of roughly $1,000 by some service providers.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is responsible for determining which companies throughout the state will be responsible for leasing and installing ignition interlock devices. The list of companies is published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.
When a driver is due to have his or her license reinstated, he or she will be mailed a Restoration Requirements Letter from PennDOT, a list of all interlock approved companies and an Application for an Ignition Interlock License Form. Once all of the required forms have been filled out, a company has installed the device in the vehicle, and the restoration requirements have been met, PennDOT will send to the driver an Ignition Interlock License form. All of this will occur 30 days prior to the set date for license restoration of the offender. The license will have a red banner on it, with a map of Pennsylvania at the bottom of the license, with the words ‘Ignition Interlock’ imprinted in the map.
If you do not own a vehicle, you will need to complete the Ignition Interlock Self-Certification form and bring it to an ignition interlock company. The company will then reference the database used by PennDOT to make sure there are no vehicles registered in your name. If there are no vehicles registered in your name, PennDOT will then issue you an Ignition Interlock License in the event that you decide to drive someone else’s vehicle. Even though you do not own a vehicle, you cannot operate a vehicle that does not have a device installed.
If you have been issued an Ignition Interlock License by PennDOT and are pulled over by a police officer, the officer will notice that your license is designated an Ignition Interlock License. You are required to drive a vehicle with the device installed, which means you can be arrested and your car can be impounded if you are pulled over in a vehicle without a device.
You can face the following penalties if you are convicted of operating a vehicle without an ignition interlock device installed:
- Subject to fines and/or imprisonment
- First offense: interlock time frame extended another year from the date of conviction
- Second and subsequent offenses: one year suspension from conviction date and you must comply with all interlock laws before having traditional license reinstated
Thirty days before your ignition interlock license is due to expire, you will receive a form to apply for an unrestricted license in the mail from PennDOT. The fees for this license are as follows:
- Class A, B, or C pays $13.50
- Class A, B, or C with Class M pays $18.50
- Commercial License pays $69.50
- Commercial License with Hazmat Endorsement pays $79.50
- Commercial License with Class M pays $89.50
- Commercial License with Class M and Hazmat pays $99.50
- Non-Commercial License pays $29.50
- Non-Commercial License with Motorcycle Endorsement pays $49.50
Any person found blowing into the device for an offender, tampering with the device equipment, or knowingly lending the offender a vehicle without a device installed can have their license suspended for one year, have to pay fines, and can face jail time.