What is an ignition interlock device?

If you have been convicted of a DUI in Pennsylvania, you may have been ordered to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle. In fact, Pennsylvania is one of 20 states in the nation that requires all DUI offenders to have interlock devices installed, according to the National Conference of State Legislators. This includes first time offenders who have no prior DUI convictions, as well as people who refuse to submit to a chemical test. What are ignition interlock devices and what are the regulations surrounding their use?

Interlock devices are installed directly into your vehicle’s ignition system, with an attached dashboard monitor. In order to start your car and keep it going, you must exhale a breath sample into a tube attached to the monitor. If your BAC level measures below a preset level, your car will start. While you are driving, the vehicle will require rolling retests, or subsequent breath samples to keep the car going. All of the information involving attempted startups, BAC levels and rolling retests is recorded within the device and sent to law enforcement officials during each maintenance appointment.

To have an IID installed in your vehicle, you must go to an approved vendor and pay for any installation and maintenance costs associated with the device. You must also apply for a limited license, giving you permission to drive following a DUI conviction. Interlock devices allow you to get to work, school and run errands after you have had your driver’s license revoked for a DUI. However, you must be sure to follow the regulations in order to regain access to your driver’s license following your IID probation period.

This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.