One of the consequences of losing your license due to a DUI conviction in Pennsylvania is the effect this could have on your ability to earn a living and get to and from work each day and support your family. The penalties for a DUI conviction are steep; in Pennsylvania the higher a drunk driver’s blood alcohol content, or BAC, is, typically the more severe the penalties. (The penalties associated with the various forms of drunk driving in Pennsylvania can be found here). If you take a look at the penalties associated with having a certain BAC or your first or second conviction for DUI, mandatory suspension of your license can result from a conviction. A judge is also permitted to suspend a motorist’s license even if not mandated for certain drunk driving offenses.
Obtaining an Ignition Interlock Device if Your Pennsylvania
Driver’s License Has Been Suspended Due to a DUI Conviction
If your driver’s license has been suspended due to a DUI conviction, you are not necessarily completely out of luck if you still need your car to get to and from work or for whatever purpose. Pennsylvania law permits for you to obtain an ignition interlock device under certain circumstances. An ignition interlock device is a device that allows you to operate a car after you have blown into the device and the device determines that you are not under the influence of alcohol. In order to obtain permission to begin operating their vehicle again after the person’s license has been suspended, the person must apply to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation for an ignition interlock device from a Pennsylvania Department of Transportation approved vendor, a list of which can be found here. If the application is approved, the driver is free to take his or her vehicle to an approved vendor on the list to have the device installed. The cost of an interlock ignition device can be quite steep, as virtually all Commonwealth-approved vendors require you to rent the device from them and the costs, as estimated by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, can be $1,200 per year. (This and other information regarding ignition interlock devices can be found on a helpful fact sheet prepared by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is available on their website if you have any additional questions regarding the ignition interlock program.)
Getting Your License Back After Using an Ignition Interlock Device
After you have successfully operated your motor vehicle for a year with an ignition interlock device, then you can apply for an unrestricted driver’s license. To get your license back at this point, all you would need to do is obtain a certification from the vendor that installed your ignition interlock device that you successfully completed whatever time period you were required to have the device and then apply for an unrestricted license.