Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed into law a bipartisan bill last May that requires drivers who commit a first DUI offense to institute a device in their vehicles that measures blood alcohol levels. If you pass, you’re able to start your engine.
The law, otherwise known as the Ignition Interlock Law, takes into effect in August. The bill is an effort to reduce license suspensions while also prohibiting drunk driving.
“Drunk driving is a deadly crime that puts Pennsylvania families at risk and this legislation will help prevent people from driving drunk and endangering themselves and putting other lives at risk. We owe it to both motorists and pedestrians to keep them safe and hold people who break DUI laws accountable,” Wolf said in a statement.
Wolf announced the news a day after the Pennsylvania State Police reported a 6.2 percent increase of DUI arrests in 2015 from the year prior. The police also announced that 18,801 DUI arrests were made in 2015, with 4,492 of them involving DUI-related collisions and 4,431 for driving while impaired on drugs. This number was up 43 percent from 2014.
“One of the main goals of the Pennsylvania State Police is to work diligently to keep Pennsylvania’s roadways safe,” State Police Commissioner Tyree C. Blocker said in a statement. “Getting impaired drivers off the roads before they injure themselves or others goes a long way toward achieving that goal.”
The bill was overwhelmingly passed by the House and Senate and extends the 2003 law that involves repeat offenders to install the device in their cars for a year.
There are 25 other states with ignition interlock laws, but Pennsylvania’s program won’t be as strict. There are three different tiers, with the lowest being a blood-alcohol level between 0.08 percent to 0.099. The interlock requirement doesn’t apply to people who are in the lowest tiers, but does to drivers who blow a blood-alcohol level higher than 0.1 percent.
If you ever get pulled over for a DUI, make sure to contact Keith J. Williams Law for an experienced DUI defense attorney. For more information, check out our website at http://keithjwilliamslaw.com or give us a call at 855-703-1134 for a free consultation.