Ignition Interlock Limited License
In 2017, the Ignition Interlock Limited License (IILL) law went into effect, allowing drivers charged with Driving Under the Influence to drive under certain conditions. An Interlock License, also referred to as a Breathalyzer License, enables individuals to drive whose licenses would have otherwise been suspended for a Driving Under the Influence charge. A Breathalyzer must be installed on the vehicle and the driver must blow into the unit in order to start the vehicle and also must randomly blow into the unit when prompted. So long as the breathalyzer is installed and the motorist obtain an Interlock Limited license, there are no restrictions on driving. The Ignition Interlock license applies to suspensions for placement into the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program, suspensions for convictions as well as suspensions for refusal of chemical testing.
Prior to the Interlock law being enacted in 2017, Occupational Limited licenses, or “Bread and Butter” licenses to drive were only available in a very limited situation, limited to first offense convictions only. The individual was limited to driving solely for employment purposes only. The Interlock law was enacted because it served two purposes. First, it protected public safety as it would prohibit the vehicle from starting if any alcohol is detected prior to starting. Second, it allows individuals who would have otherwise been prohibited from driving at all to get to work and be productive members of society.How long do I have to wait to get the interlock license?
Depending on the case, a driver may be immediately eligible to install the breathalyzer and obtain an Interlock license from Penndot. If you were placed into the ARD program, or if you were convicted (pled guilty or found guilty) of a first offense DUI in 10 years, then you would be immediately eligible to obtain an interlock license. Normally, a license suspension for ARD would typically be thirty (30) or sixty (60) day loss of license and a suspension for a conviction is one (1) year. Under the Interlock law, these suspensions would only occur if the driver does not install the breathalyzer on his vehicle.
For a second or third offense conviction for DUI in 10 years, the license suspension would be either twelve (12) months or eighteen (18) months, depending on the blood alcohol concentration (BAC). For second offense suspensions, the motorist must serve at least one-half (1/2) of the suspension before becoming eligible for the interlock license.
For suspensions for Refusal of testing, the driver must serve one-half (1/2) of the suspension before becoming eligible for the interlock license. Keep in mind the suspension for refusal of testing runs consecutive to any suspension for conviction. License suspension for Refusal of testing is twelve (12) months or eighteen (18) months.
There is no license suspension for convictions for first offense DUI cases where the Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is .099% or less. The Ignition Interlock law applies to all cases of DUI, both under the influence of alcohol and also under the influence of controlled substances (drugs and/or prescription medication).How do I obtain an Ignition Interlock Limited License?
Upon acceptance into the ARD program, or a conviction for DUI, the county court will send a Notice of Conviction” form to Penndot. The driver will receive a “Notification of Suspension” letter from Penndot with a date when the license suspension is to begin, approximately 35 days later. The driver should contact an approved Interlock Installation vendor who will install the breathalyzer on the vehicle and certify the installation. The driver should then complete the Ignition Interlock application with Penndot and forward the application along with the filing fee. The law mandates that Penndot approve the Interlock license within twenty (20) days of filing (which does not always happen that quickly). Once the breathalyzer is installed and the motorist is given the special Interlock Driver’s license, he may then drive only a vehicle equipped with the breathalyzer.How much is the cost of the Interlock device?
The cost of the device varies from vendor to vendor, and some vendors may offer free installation coupons. On average, the breathalyzer installation could cost between $100 - $400. There is also a monthly fee as the driver is required to return to the service center to calibrate and download the data from the unit. The monthly fee can cost between $60-$150. The is also usually a fee to remove the device from the vehicle once the required interlock period ends.What if I do not own a vehicle?
If an individual does not own a vehicle, a “Self-Certification of Vehicle(s) Owned/Operated” form (DL-21SC) would have to be completed and taken to an Ignition Interlock vendor. The Ignition Interlock vendor will determine that the individual does not own or have any vehicles registered to them. The vendor will certify to PennDOT that the individual does not own any vehicles. Once all requirements are met for restoration, PennDOT will issue an Ignition Interlock License.What if I own more than one vehicle?
Under the law, the motorist is only required to install the breathalyzer on any vehicle that the individual will be driving. If an individual owns more than one vehicle, he is not required to install the device on all vehicles.
If the motorist’s vehicle is driven by another individual (family member, friend, etc.) they will be able to drive it, but they will still be subject to blowing into the breathalyzer to start the vehicle and will also have to blow into it when the unit randomly prompts a test.
Additionally, a family member or employer may install the interlock device on their own vehicle and permit the individual under suspension to drive, so long as the individual possesses a valid Interlock license.
If you are charged with a DUI, call the highly experienced lawyers at Ellis B. Klein & Associates at (800) 536-0501 and we would be happy to give you a free consultation and answer every question that you may have about your case.