Although people often call them breathalyzers, the correct term is an ignition interlock device. A law enforcement officer administers a breathalyzer. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Motor Vehicles, an ignition interlock device (IID) can prevent your car from starting unless you blow into the device, and there is no detectable alcohol on your breath. An ignition interlock device gets installed on your car and remains there until the end of the court-ordered IID term.
The Cost of the Ignition Interlock Device
You will have to lease the ignition interlock device (IID) from an approved provider. Depending on the provider you select and the length of time you must have the device in your car, the lease will cost around $1,000.
You will have to pay fees for installation, routine calibrations, and removal. There will be monthly charges for monitoring. These costs vary by provider.
The features of the individual device will be another factor in the amount you have to pay. For example, the court might order you to get an IID that provides real-time reporting, a camera, and GPS. So, the cost to have a breathalyzer installed in your car in PA is determined by your circumstances.
The Vehicles Required to Have the Ignition Interlock Device Installed
Every motor vehicle that you own, lease, or drive must have an ignition interlock device. It does not matter if the car does not even work or is not currently registered. Dropping the insurance on an antique or classic vehicle for the season will not exempt that vehicle from the IID requirement.
If you have several vehicles, whether you lease or own them, the IID expenses for each one could exceed $1,000. Also, you cannot borrow or rent a car that does not have the device.
The Person Who Pays for the Ignition Interlock Device
The person whom the court orders to use an ignition interlock device must pay the costs associated with obtaining the system. The court does not pay for these fees.
Optional Payment Programs for the Ignition Interlock Device
You used to be able to serve an additional year of driver’s license suspension instead of getting an ignition interlock device, but for offenses occurring after September 20, 2003, the additional year of suspension is no longer an option.
If you do not own a vehicle, you will still have to get an ignition interlock driver’s license. You can forego the requirement of obtaining a device if you have one of the approved IID vendors certify that you do not own any vehicles. The vendor can charge you to provide this certification.
You might qualify for a hardship exemption if your income is less than 200 percent of the poverty level. If granted, you would not have to get an IID installed on every vehicle that you own. Instead, you could get an IID installed on only one of your vehicles. You must not operate any vehicle that does not have an IID installed and functioning.
The Duration of Use for the Ignition Interlock Device
Even after your restoration, you will have to use the IID for one year. In some situations, the device only has to stay on your vehicle for one year after the date of your conviction.
The Type of Ignition Interlock Devices Permitted in Pennsylvania
You might be tempted to try to save some money by going with a cut-rate ignition interlock device company—but be careful. The Pennsylvania DUI Association publishes a list of approved IID systems. If you use a device that is not on the approved list, you could face serious legal consequences.
Additional Fees That Come With the Ignition Interlock Device
There are other costs associated with having to use an IID in addition to the expense of the device itself. Everyone who gets ordered to use an IID must also get a new driver’s license, called an ignition interlock license. This unique-looking license makes it easy for law enforcement officers to see that you must use an IID whenever you drive.
Depending on your situation, this license can cost from around $30 to more than $100.
Also, you will have to pay a restoration fee after you satisfy all the requirements contained in your restoration requirements letter from PennDOT.
The Consequences of Driving a Vehicle Without an IID
If you get convicted of driving a vehicle that does not have an approved IID, you could receive penalties in the form of fines and imprisonment. Also, the court could extend your ignition interlock period and suspend your license.
The high expense and collateral consequences of getting ordered to use an IID should highlight just how vital it is that you avoid a driving under the influence (DUI) conviction. The fallout from a DUI conviction can haunt you for the rest of your life and affect your career, your chances of getting into a good college, and your financial future.
McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. Wants to Help You DUI Charge
As a signed client with McKenzie Law Firm, P.C., we will be accessible through email, text, phone, social media, etc. to answer any of your DUI and IID questions. If you are facing a DUI charge, we will build a defense strategy suited to your needs. Call us today at (610) 680-7842 to get started with a free case review. We can also help you figure out the cost to have a breathalyzer installed in your car.