The Cost of Ignition Interlock Devices in Pennsylvania
Driving under the influence is an easy but reckless decision to make. While intoxicated, it may seem as though alcohol has not impaired motor functions in a dangerous way. As per the court of Pennsylvania, a DUI offender is obliged by law to pay all fines, fees, and interlock device costs.
Unfortunately, being caught in the act or worse, in an accident, will land severe penalties under Pennsylvania law. These penalties can impact your record for life and can come with hefty fines and jail time.
In 2016, Pennsylvania enacted Senate Bill 290 calling for ignition locks to be installed on driver’s vehicles who have been convicted of drunk driving.
What is an Ignition Interlock Device?
An Ignition Interlock Device (IID) is connected to a vehicle’s ignition and prevents it from starting until a driver demonstrates a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) below a pre-set threshold. Similar to the breathalyzer that police officers use, the driver blows into the DUI interlock device, which will determine if the BAC is below the threshold (usually .02).
In conjunction with the assessment by officers and treatment centers, interlock ignition devices have been proven reliable and effective for road safety.
What Offenses Result in Interlock Devices?
Prior to the enactment of Senate Bill 290, a first-time DUI conviction can result in a one-year suspension of driver’s licenses. To get back on the roads sooner, judges can now reduce the one-year suspension to six months and add a year of monitoring using an alcohol interlock device. The offender will be able to drive with a mandatory ignition device installed in their cars.
How Much Does it Cost to Install an Ignition Interlock Device?
The cost to install an ignition interlock device can vary from $70 to $150 plus a licensing fee of $65. Even though the DUI offender gets back on the road sooner, they must pay for the costs associated with the interlock device. The Centers for Disease Control estimates the total install cost to average around $175, of which the offenders generally pay.
The monthly cost of the ignition interlock device ranges from around $80 to $100. Its average cost is $1,400 for one year. The ignition interlock device may seem costly but not as much when compared to the monthly costs of Uber. Although the interlock system cost varies per state, you can find stores that offer low-cost interlock devices. The initial cost of an interlock device for many is very high and may hurt the bank account initially.
Regardless, it is much better than the alternative route. So look for the cheapest interlock device to get back on the road in the least amount of time. On top of the enormous legal consequences, getting convicted of DUI/DWI charges can cost you a hefty amount of money. Pennsylvania has ignition interlock laws that allow qualified people to start driving again in a restricted driving interlock program.
Pennsylvania has never been a state known to go easy on DUI offenders. Clearly, DUI laws against drunk driving have hardened significantly in the past five years.
Given the numerous benefits of an interlock device, it is undoubtedly the most cost-effective option for DUI offenders. Depending on your conviction, the ignition interlock program is by far the best penalty outcome to pursue. Avoid a DUI conviction at all costs because the second offense and beyond are not nearly as forgiving. Better safe than sorry.