Pennsylvania has updated it's Ignition Interlock law and created an Ignition Interlock Limited License

Alfonso Gambone
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A Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer representing accused persons throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Act 33 of 2016 was signed into law on May 25, 2016! This Act amended Pennsylvania’s Ignition Interlock Law and created an Ignition Interlock Limited License (IILL). The law also changed the ignition interlock requirement in the Commonwealth and made it mandatory for all first time DUI offenders with either a high blood alcohol level (BAC) or for individuals who refused the chemical test (breathalyzer or blood test).  Here are the top ten questions that our law firm has received since the law came into effect:

If you would like to learn more about DUI in Pennsylvania, I encourage you to download a free copy of my book--5 Ways to Fight and Win Your Pennsylvania DUI Case  and my previous blog article on this topic 

1.  When did the new Ignition Interlock Limited License Law take effect?

Answer:The law became effective on August 25, 2017. This means that anyone convicted of a DUI after this date is subject to the Ignition Interlock requirement for first time offenders (high BAC) and for refusals.


2.  What is an Ignition Interlock Limited License (IILL)?

Answer:An IILL is a driver’s license issued to a Pennsylvania driver whose operating privileges are suspended or revoked for one or more violations of DUI related to alcohol, controlled substances, or for refusing to submit to chemical testing. An IILL allows an individual to drive if certain requirements are met. Upon reading these requirements, the person’s car is equipped with an ignition interlock device during the term of their suspension or revocation.


3.  What violations are eligible for an Ignition Interlock Limited License?

Answer:  The following criminal offenses are eligible for an IILL:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substance (Title 75 Section 3802)
  • Refusal of chemical testing to determine the amount of alcohol or controlled substance (Title 75 Section 1547)
  • It’s also important to keep in mind that a violation of a similar statute in another state like New Jersey, which leads to a license suspension in Pennsylvania due to the Interstate Driver’s Compact is also eligible for an Ignition Interlock Limited License.


4.  How does a person apply for an IILL?

Answer:An individual must complete an IILL petition using PennDot Form DL-9108, which also includes PennDot Form DL-9108SC. This application must be sent with the required fees and documentation to PennDot via Certified Mail. Keep in mind that if driver’s license expires within 6 months of the application it is recommended that the person also complete and submit a renewal application at the time of the petition to avoid paying another fee once that driver’s license expires.


5.  What is an Ignition Interlock System?

Answer:An Ignition Interlock System is a device that is installed in a motor vehicle to prohibit an individual under the influence of alcohol from operating a car. A person is required to blow into the device before starting the vehicle. If the device detects alcohol, it will prevent the vehicle from starting. In addition to starting the vehicle, there may be times during the operation of the vehicle where the individual will be prompted to blow into the device to ensure that he or she is not under the influence.


6.  What is the cost of the Ignition Interlock System?

Answer: An Ignition Interlock System is leased from an authorized vendor within the Commonwealth and currently the average cost associated with the lease is between $900.00-1,300.00 per year. An approved list of vendors is available at the Pennsylvania DUI Association home page (


7.  What are the penalties for failing to comply with the Ignition Interlock Law?

Answer:  A person convicted of driving a motor vehicle that is not equipped with an Ignition Interlock System or otherwise tampering with the system is subject to fines and imprisonment. A first offense will extend the Ignition Interlock period for one year from the date of the conviction and a second offense or subsequent offense will result in a recall of the Ignition Interlock License and a one year license suspension. Even when the license is restored, a person will be required to maintain an Ignition Interlock License for one year after that 2nd or 3rd offense.


8.  How long must a person maintain an Ignition Interlock Limited License?

Answer:  Any period which an individual holds a valid Ignition Interlock Limited License will be counted toward the satisfaction of any mandatory period of Ignition Interlock use.


9.  How does a person obtain their unrestricted license upon completion of the Ignition Interlock period?

Answer:  Thirty days prior to being eligible to receive an unrestricted driver’s license, PennDot will mail a notice to the individual that contains the date of eligibility and an application to apply for an unrestricted driver’s license. The notice will provide instructions on how to go about obtaining a restored driver’s license. Prior to PennDot issuing an unrestricted license however, the Ignition Interlock vendor must complete a declaration of compliance which certifies that an individual has not had any incidences with the Ignition Interlock Device.


10.  Where can I find out more information about the Ignition Interlock Limited License?

Answer:  Information on the Ignition Interlock Limited License can be found on PennDot’s website (www.dmv.pAnswer:gov\information-centers/suspensions).

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