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Ignition Interlock for First Time DUI Offenders in PA


On May 18th, 2016, the Pennsylvania General Assembly passed SB 290, an amendment to the Title 75, which requires convicted first-time DUI offenders with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .10 or more to use ignition interlocks on their vehicles for one year.

Pittsburgh DUI Attorney David Shrager is quoted on channel 2 KDKA News regarding the new Pennsylvania law. Watch the video below.

Pennsylvania To Extend Ignition Locks Law To First Offenses

May 19, 2016 

HARRISBURG, Pa. (KDKA) – In 2014, Pennsylvania had 10,500 alcohol-related crashes and 345 people were killed.

One way to keep those who drink from driving is to keep their car from starting when they are drunk.

“The system works great.  It does detect alcohol,” says shop owner and car mechanic Jim Wilson.

Enter something called an ignition interlock which keeps the car engine from starting until the driver passes a breathalyzer each time he or she is behind the wheel.

Once you have this interlock system installed, if you turn the key, nothing happens.

That’s because you need to blow and hum into this system until it registers your blood alcohol content.

Once your level is below .08, you can turn the car on.

While ignition interlocks are required for repeat offenders when they resume driving after their licenses have been suspended, a new law expected to be signed by Governor Wolf requires most first time DUI offenders to have an interlock for a year instead of losing their licenses.

Attorney David Shrager, who’s defended thousands of DUI cases, likes the change.

“We know that in this modern society to be able to work and take care of your family, to take care of your children without a driver’s license is almost impossible,” Shrager told KDKA political editor Jon Delano on Thursday. “So we want people working, we want people taking care of their families, we want people being good citizens.  This balances their need to drive with keeping the populace safe.”

Only first offenders with blood alcohol content between 0.10 and 0.15 would be eligible.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) estimate that interlock ignitions have stopped 78,000 attempts to drive drunk in Pennsylvania.

And this law will catch more, says Wilson who installs interlocks.

“More business for us, I like that.  If it keeps a guy who has a drinking problem off the street, that’s good for all of us.”