DUI First Time Offenders May Get Interlock Devices

By Kamika Dunlap on April 28, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Pennsylvania has introduced new legislation aimed at cracking down on DUI first time offenders by requiring them to have ignition interlock devices on their vehicles.

The goal of the newly proposed DUI legislation is to deter people from drinking and driving or even stop drinking alcohol altogether, Myfoxphilly.com reports.

In addition, the legislation would update the state's three tiered DUI statue. State Representative Tom Houghton is the sponsor of the bill. The legislation would revise the DUI statues to include stricter penalties for first time offenders.

As previously discussed, the state assembly recently passed Leandra's Law, which pushes for some of the nation's toughest penalties for drunk driving, including making it a felony to drive intoxicated with children as passengers and forcing first time DWI offenders to have the ignition interlock devices installed.

There are 46 states that have laws permitting interlock devices for impaired drivers. However, the law is only mandatory for first time offenders in six states including New York, New Mexico, Arizona, Illinois, Louisiana, New England and Washington.

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger recently signed into law a pilot program making an interlock device mandatory for first-time drunken drivers in four counties, including Los Angeles and Sacramento

In Pennsylvania, ignition interlock devices would also have a "rolling check" system which would make the driver periodically blow into the system in order to keep the vehicle on.

Lastly, the bill would increase the required time period for ignition interlock to those with three or more offenses.

As discussed in a previous post, a study by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration estimates that if interlock devices were more widely installed, they would save up to 750 lives a year.

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