Although sometimes people call them “breathalyzers,” the correct term is “ignition interlock device.” If a judge ordered you to use an ignition interlock device (IID), you need to know the proper way to request having an ignition interlock installed in your car in Pennsylvania.
An ignition interlock device will prevent your vehicle from starting until you blow into it and does not detect alcohol on your breath. Also, you will have to blow into the device periodically while operating your vehicle to validate that you are still sober.
Obtaining an Ignition Interlock Device
About a month before you are eligible for restoration, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) will mail you a letter that lists all the requirements for you to obtain restoration. This restoration requirements letter will contain information on how to request having an ignition interlock device installed in your car in PA from an IID vendor.
Once you select a vendor, you must have IIDs installed in all of your vehicles. The vendor will then certify to the PennDOT that the installation is complete. After you perform all of the restoration requirements, you can apply for an ignition interlock license. When you have received restoration of your driving privileges, the PennDOT will issue you an ignition interlock license.
What to Do If You Do Not Own Any Vehicles
You must submit a completed form DL-21SC “Self-Certification of Vehicle(s) Owned/Operated” to PennDOT. If you do not have any vehicles, you should indicate that fact on the form.
You will have to take the completed form to an IID vendor, who will check the PennDOT vehicle database to ensure that you have no vehicles. The vendor will send the DL-21SC form to PennDOT. The vendor is allowed to assess a fee to you for this service.
Even if you do not own any vehicles, you will have to get an ignition interlock license. This restricted license will be effective until you complete your restoration requirements.
Which Vehicles Must Have IIDs
Every motor vehicle that you own, lease, or drive must have an IID installed. If you borrow a friend’s car, it must have an IID. If you drive a rental car or leased vehicle, it must have an IID. Even if you own a car that you do not drive during the entire time that you are ordered to have an IID, that vehicle must have an IID, or you will have to transfer the title to someone else.
Every vehicle you own, lease, or rent, whether the car functions or not, whether it is an antique or classic car, must have an IID. People with multiple vehicles can end up paying several thousand dollars getting IIDs installed on cars they no longer drive.
If you share a car with another member of your household, that vehicle must get an IID, even if someone else owns the vehicle. Everyone who drives the car will have to blow into the IID every time they drive the vehicle.
When Judges Order the Use of an IID
Judges usually do not order the use of an IID for a first DUI offense. A judge can require you to use an IID if you have a prior DUI offense within the last 10 years or if you get sentenced for two or more offenses on the same day. These things can count as prior offenses:
- An adjudication of delinquency
- A consent decree
- Acceptance of Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD)
The facts of your situation will determine whether you get ordered to use an IID.
Ignition Interlock Licenses
If the judge orders an ignition interlock device, you will have to apply for an ignition interlock limited license to use as your driver’s license for the duration of the IID requirement. You will have to submit a form, pay an interlock license fee, and pay a restoration fee.
The ignition interlock license has a red banner with the words “Limited License” and “Ignition Interlock.” The purpose of these differences is to make it easy for law enforcement officers to see that your license has an IID restriction.
You must carry this restricted license whenever driving. You are not allowed to operate any motor vehicle without a functioning IID until you receive an unrestricted driver’s license at the end of your IID time.
How a Lawyer Can Help
Getting a DUI conviction can have severe consequences on your life, both now and for many years in the future. Once you receive a DUI conviction, some of the adverse impacts are irreversible.
At the McKenzie Law Firm, P.C., we can try to build a defense for you to get a more favorable outcome. We work hard to help our clients avoid penalties that can stand in the way of getting into your desired college and having the career of your dreams.
Having to use an ignition interlock device can create embarrassment and social stigma. Your family could suffer, as well. Let us help you try to avoid a DUI conviction.
If you need help understanding how to request having an ignition interlock device (breathalyzer) installed in your car in PA or help to fight a DUI conviction, call us today at (610) 680-7842 to get started.