Beginning in August 2017, any person convicted of drunk driving with a
blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .10 or more will now be required
to install an ignition interlock system in their vehicle for a year. Prior
to this updated legislation, ignition interlocks were only mandated in
Pennsylvania for people who committed a repeat DUI offense within a 10-year
period; they were not a penalty for first-time offenders.
According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), there were 364 drunk
driving fatalities and over 44,000 arrests for driving under the influence
in Pennsylvania last year. Proponents of the changes to the ignition interlock
law believe the stricter requirements will have a tremendous effect on
decreasing drunk driving deaths, as well as arrests.
An ignition interlock is a device about the size of a cell phone that is
wired into the ignition system of a vehicle. A convicted drunk driver
must blow into the device in order to start their vehicle. If they have
a measurable amount of alcohol in their system, the vehicle will not start.
It is a simple and effective way to make sure that offenders can drive
to and from work, but that they can't drive drunk. Each system costs
approximately $1,000 plus maintenance costs, and the offender is required
to pay for the device.
Drunk Driving Prevention is Our Civic Duty
At Metzger Wickersham, we have represented many victims of drunk driving
accidents, and we feel strongly about combating the intoxicated driving
epidemic. Our law firm is committed to promoting education and awareness
about safe driving through community outreach. Keeping in line with our
mission, our annual Road to Safety Scholarship Contest for high school
seniors encourages teens to get involved in spreading the message to keep
our roads safe. Learn more about the contest at