The state of Pennsylvania is one of the few states who have not passed an all offender ignition interlock law, but lawmakers in the state have called for one and hope to see it put on the books sometime this year. It won’t be a moment too soon either – according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), between 2012 and 2013 there was only a 9.6% decrease in the number of Pennsylvania traffic deaths, and 368 of those fatalities were alcohol-related crashes.
An all offender ignition interlock law would work in conjunction with other driving under the influence (DUI) penalties in Pennsylvania. The state currently has a tiered blood alcohol concentration (BAC) penalty system, and how harsh your penalties are will be dependent on how intoxicated you were at the time of arrest.
At this time, a first DUI offender in Pennsylvania will receive the following penalties if their BAC is between .08-.99:
- $300 fine
- Six months probation
If the first offender has a BAC between .10 – .159, they will receive:
- Between two days up to six months in prison
- Up to $5,000 in fines
- 12 month driver’s license suspension
- If the court allows it, offender will receive a restricted driver’s license after 60 days and may be required to drive with an ignition interlock device
For first offenders with BAC of .16 or greater, the following applies:
- 3 day up to 6 months in jail
- Fines ranging from $1,000 to $5,000
- 12 month suspension from driving
- If the court allows, the offender will receive a restricted driver’s license after 60 days and may be required to drive with an ignition interlock device.
Pennsylvania only requires mandatory ignition interlock programs for convicted drivers who receive a DUI two or more times. A new all offender ignition interlock law will change that, and it may be just the boost Pennsylvania needs to see a real reduction in alcohol-related deaths.