When a traffic stop in Pennsylvania results in authorities charging you with driving under the influence, quite a bit is at stake. Depending on the circumstances and whether you have any other DUI charges in your driving history, you may have to spend time behind bars, pay hefty fines and attend alcohol safety school, among other possible penalties. In some instances, you may also have to install an ignition interlock device on your car for a set period and pay all associated expenses.
Per PennDOT Driver and Vehicle Services, an ignition interlock device prevents you from being able to drive your car, truck or SUV until you submit a breath sample proving you are not under the influence.
Who needs an ignition interlock device
Not every first-time DUI offender in Pennsylvania must install and use an ignition interlock device on their own vehicle and any others they drive. However, you must install and use one if you receive a new DUI conviction when you already have one or more in your past. You also have to use an ignition interlock device if you have a high blood-alcohol level at the time of your arrest or refuse chemical testing after a traffic stop. If you are already required to have an ignition interlock device and drive a vehicle without one, this may lengthen the amount of time you must have one installed in every vehicle you use.
How the device works
Once your car has an ignition interlock device, you have to blow into a tube each time you want to start your car. However, you may also have to supply your ignition interlock device with a breath sample at other random times while using your car.
Violating the terms of your ignition interlock device agreement may result in you facing additional legal trouble.