In the state of Pennsylvania, drunk driving is a serious offense. The court will require certain people convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol to have ignition interlock devices installed in their vehicles.
Ignition interlock basics
An ignition interlock device is about the size of a mobile phone. The part you will use is basically a computer equipped with a mouthpiece. The other end of the IID attaches to the wiring beneath the hood of your car. You breathe into the mouthpiece, and the device measures your blood alcohol content level. If it is below the set point, the car will start. There will be random retests as you drive, but you will always have an alert and time to pull over so you can take the breath test safely.
Earning your IID
Both first-time and repeat DUI offenders who have high blood alcohol content levels and whose driving privileges have been suspended must have an IID installed to be able to drive. If you find yourself in this position, the device will be your responsibility. You must pay to lease the device, and you have to adhere to a schedule for periodic service.
Even as a first-time offender, you will face fines and other penalties such as mandatory alcohol treatment, community service, probation and possible jail time. Loss of your driver’s license may be devastating if you need your car to get back and forth to work, to college classes or for other important reasons. However, restoration of your driving privileges may be possible. If the judge orders you to have an IID, you can expect the device to be part of your everyday driving experience for one year beginning on the date of the restoration of your driving privileges.
Keeping goals in mind
The main goal for an ignition interlock device is to protect the driving public. A secondary goal is to prevent your re-arrest for DUI. If you complete the IID program successfully, you will be able to have an unrestricted driver’s license once again. Even better, as a program graduate, you will probably never drink and drive again.