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Pennsylvania's Ignition Interlock Law explained

Drunk driving is a national problem that has impacted the lives of many of people. Many believe that alcohol alone is the cause of drunk driving, but this logic is flawed in the sense that just because someone drinks alcohol does not mean that they have to get behind the wheel of a car and drive. Prohibition is a thing of the past and is probably not going to happen again. However, educating people against the dangers of drunk driving and making it legally difficult and complicated for them when they are convicted of driving drunk may be a way to put an end to the number of drunk driving related accidents.

Pennsylvania is one of the states where the ignition interlock system is utilized on those convicted of DUI/DWI offenses. Specifically, where there is a second driving offense involving alcohol, the ignition interlock is installed in each car that is owned by the defendant. The device makes it impossible for the driver to start their vehicle unless they blow into the mechanism which determines that they are not driving while under the influence of alcohol. In addition to having the system in place in the vehicle, someone with the ignition interlock has a special license that illustrates that they in fact are in the ignition interlock program.

The original legislation that was presented in July 2014 required anyone who had a drunk driving conviction to have the ignition interlock on their vehicles for at least six months. By taking these measures, the legislation sought to put an end to the number of drunk driving accidents that occurred yearly. The ignition interlock is seen as the most effective way to deter drunk driving and the law, if passed, would mandate that every state follow the ignition interlock protocol. States are allowed to modify the timeframe. For instance, Pennsylvania has made it so that the system is in place for not less than one year.

Drunk driving is a serious problem that the legislature is trying to address in an effective manner. With this law in place, hopefully there will be fewer victims of drunk driving accidents in Pennsylvania.

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, "IGNITION INTERLOCK "THE LAW" Frequently Asked Questions," accessed on Aug. 21, 2014

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, "IGNITION INTERLOCK "THE LAW" Frequently Asked Questions," accessed on Aug. 21, 2014

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