Pennsylvania recently created the ignition interlock limited license (IILL) program. The program took effect on August 25, 2017. While it requires an ignition interlock device for any first time DUI offenders with a high blood alcohol level or those that refuse a chemical test (blood or breath), it also established an ignition interlock limited license, which enables those with suspended drivers licenses’ to drive sooner (almost immediately in many cases).
Prior to the ignition interlock limited license, a person who was convicted of anything but a general impairment driving under the influence charge (DUI) under Section 3802(a)(1) or (a)(2), faced a mandatory minimum 12 month license suspension under Section 3802(b), Sections 3802(c) and 3802(d). Remember that a DUI in Pennsylvania and a DWI in New Jersey, does not need to involve alcohol and a person can be arrested, charged, and convicted of driving under the influence of any legal or illegal controlled substance or drug. The prosecution in Pennsylvania and New Jersey doesn’t need to prove a specific type of drug but only that the person was unable to safely operate a motor vehicle in the Commonwealth or in the Garden State.
This short blog, however, focuses on the ignition interlock device and the limited license program. All first time DUI offenders are eligible for the ignition interlock limited license immediately upon notice of their suspension, even if they are convicted of refusing a chemical test under Section 3802(a)(1). This is very important because as I’ve written in previous blog article, DUI is criminal offense and a civil penalty in Pennsylvania. This means PENNDOT can suspend your driver’s license even if you’re found not guilty in a criminal court for DUI. Keep in mind that disposition or result of the criminal prosecution is irrelevant can suspend a license based on the refusal alone. Watch my short video on this topic right now.
Second time offenders are eligible for the IILL, 6 months after serving their license suspension under Sections 3802(a)(1) and 3802(b), second time offenders convicted under Section 3802(c), 3802(a)(1)(refusal), and 3802(d), are eligible for the IILL after 9 months of serving a suspension for the 2nd or 3rd offense.
For more information on drunk driving defenses, I encourage you to visit our free downloads section and check out a copy of my free book Five Ways to Fight and Win Your Pennsylvania DUI Case.