How would you feel about having to take a breathalyzer test each time you started your vehicle? That’s the reality for repeat DUI offenders. If the ignition interlock system detects alcohol, your vehicle won’t start. It may ask you to retest while the vehicle is running to ensure that you haven’t been drinking since you began driving.
Pennsylvania law requires ignition interlock devices for one year if you’re arrested for DUI with a prior offense. That’s on top of other penalties such as suspension of your driver’s license, jail time, and court-ordered alcohol treatment for repeat offenses.
Ignition interlock devices are expensive. First, you must apply for a limited Ignition Interlock License and pay the appropriate application fees. Pennsylvania law also requires you to lease your ignition interlock device for between $900 to $1,300 total. Second-time DUI offenders already face up to a $2,500 fine before adding these additional costs.
Don’t try to cheat the system
If law enforcement discovers you tampering or driving without your ignition interlock system, you will face further penalties, including:
- A one-year extension of the ignition interlock order.
- Revocation of your driver’s license for one year and a one-year extension of the ignition interlock order upon reinstatement of your license.
- Potential fines and prison time.
Even if your limited license becomes suspended, you will have to resume your required ignition interlock period until you complete the remaining time on the order. For example, if the state suspends your license at four months, you will have to complete the final eight months after Pennsylvania reinstates your license.
The best way to avoid paying the costs associated with ignition interlock systems is to not let a one-time DUI mistake become a habit. If police arrest you again for DUI, it’s a good idea to comply with your ignition interlock order to avoid paying additional fines and to simply get it over with. This is a problem that you should face head on.