DUI laws in the state of Pennsylvania are set to see changes as of August 2017. The change comes from a bill that was signed into law by Governor Wolf that would require drivers with a blood alcohol concentration of .10 and above to install an ignition interlock device, even for first-time offenders. The law is much more pragmatic than previous Pennsylvania DUI laws.
Under the prior DUI laws, first-time offenders were not allowed to retrieve and install an ignition interlock device on a first-time offense. Instead, those driving with a BAC above .10 percent would have their license suspended for a year. The new law would not require this one-year suspension for first-time offenders. First-time offenders will also have the option of applying to the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program, a pre-trial program that would require the offender to pay fees and court costs as well as attend classes for their drinking. Upon successfully completing this program, a first-time offender would have their arrest record expunged as well as their case dismissed.
The law also benefits second-time offenders and beyond, in that those offenders will have the option to apply for an ignition interlock device. Should their license be suspended, they may be able to serve only a portion of the suspension rather than the entire sentence, by instead having one of these devices installed.
An ignition interlock device is an electronic system with a pre-set BAC detection limit. A driver will get behind the wheel and blow into a small tube that measures their BAC. Should their BAC be higher than the pre-programmed limit on the device, the vehicle will not start, thus preventing an intoxicated driver from operating a vehicle.
Driving under the influence is a serious offense that could permanently tarnish a person’s record. If you or someone you know is facing DUI charges, contact Garber Law today to schedule your case consultation.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney/client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.