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Is an Ignition Interlock Device Required for a First DUI Offense in Pennsylvania?

Woman in car blowing into breathalyzer

As of 2016, an individual convicted on a first offense of driving under the influence (DUI) with a blood alcohol content on arrest of .10 percent or higher is required to use an ignition interlock device (IID) for at least a year.

Because this rule changed recently in Pennsylvania, people tend to have questions about IIDs and how the law works. Below are answers to a few frequently asked questions on this issue:

What is an ignition interlock device?


An IID is a piece of equipment installed in a vehicle to prohibit people from driving it while they are under the influence of alcohol. You must blow into the device before you can start your car. If the device detects any alcohol in your system, it will prevent your vehicle from starting. You may also be prompted to blow into the device at various times while driving to ensure you remain sober.

How much does an IID cost?

Costs vary, but in general you can expect an IID to cost around $1,000. You are responsible for covering the cost of installation. If you cannot afford it, you may choose to serve an additional one-year suspension of your driving privileges or apply for a hardship exemption.

Who is in charge of overseeing the installation of IIDs?

You must complete a “Self Certification of Vehicle(s) Owned/Operated” form, listing all the motor vehicles you own. Your IID vendor then verifies this information in the PennDOT vehicle database. After the device is installed on all the vehicles you own, the vendor sends the certification to the Department of Transportation.

What if I don’t own a vehicle?

The vendor must certify that you own no vehicles. You must still complete the Self-Certification form and apply for an ignition interlock license.

For more information on ignition interlock laws in Pennsylvania, contact a trusted Ambridge criminal defense lawyer at Bowers & Fawcett, LLC.


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