By Steve Mentzer (R-Lititz)
A new law set to go into effect Aug. 25 will change the way first-time DUI offenders are punished in Pennsylvania.
The new law will require most first-time offenders with a blood-alcohol level higher than 0.10 percent to have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle.
Under the new law, most first-time offenders would be eligible to drive with the ignition interlock immediately. Otherwise, they would have to have their driver’s license suspended for a year before installing the interlock device for 12 months.
Those who are eligible can petition PennDOT for a new Ignition Interlock Limited License, allowing them to install the device for one year and continue to drive.
The law will also apply to drivers who refuse to submit to chemical testing. They will be eligible for early interlock after six months.
This effort to strengthen Pennsylvania’s DUI laws received much stronger support after a Lancaster County man from New Providence admitted to being drunk and high on heroin when he caused a head-on crash in July 2014, killing a recent high-school graduate
According to statistics compiled by Mothers Against Drunk Driving, nearly 2 million drunk-driving attempts have been stopped with ignition interlock devices, including more than 78,000 instances in Pennsylvania between 2003 and 2015.