It’s decision time for first time drunk driving offenders in Pennsylvania. Will they choose the Pennsylvania ignition interlock program, or will they give up their driving privileges and wait out a lengthy driver’s license suspension?
If you are a first offender in Pennsylvania this probably isn’t a choice you’ll be excited about making, but if you were arrested with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .10 or higher, you’ll be required to decide now that Pennsylvania drunk driving laws have changed to allow these options.
On one hand you’ll have the Pennsylvania ignition interlock program. If you choose to plead guilty to your first DUI you’ll have the option of receiving a special driver’s license. That license will allow you to install and use an ignition interlock for a one year period, and that means you can take back your car keys and get on with your life. As long as you drive sober, you have free and clear access to your vehicle.
On the other hand, there’s the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program. This is a diversionary program that lets a first time DUI offender avoid conviction completely and have their record wiped clean if they accept a 30 to 60-day driver’s license suspension. With the diversionary program you will need to find alternate transportation for the time period, and if you’re caught driving your vehicle while suspended you’ll receive even more penalties.
It’s a choice that’s completely up to the offender, but when you weigh the pros and cons of completely giving up your vehicle and avoiding driving for one to three months, the freedom provided by the Pennsylvania ignition interlock program looks really appealing.
Time will tell what choices are made by first offenders in Pennsylvania, but when drivers weigh an interlock vs a driver’s license suspension, the interlock comes out ahead every time.