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Drunk driving interlock law becomes stricter in Pennsylvania

Advocacy groups that are against driving under the influence are hoping that a new drunk driving-related law in Pennsylvania will help to prevent DUI. Advocates have said it could also potentially help those who are arrested for drunk driving. The new law has to do with DUI interlock devices.

The law is called Act 33 of 2016, which requires those individuals convicted of drunk driving for the first time, with blood alcohol levels of at least 0.10 percent, to utilize ignition interlock devices for a minimum of 12 months. Ignition interlock devices are essentially Breathalyzers that are connected to automobiles' ignition systems and that prevent automobiles from starting if they detect alcohol. Act 33 of 2016 ended up going into effect on June 25 of this year.

Up until recently, ignition interlock devices were available in Pennsylvania only for repeat DUI offenders who had already had their driver's licenses suspended for a year. The law is not as strict as that which Mothers Against Drunk Driving supporters have advocated for nationally -- that ignition interlock devices be required for first-time offenders with blood alcohol levels of 0.08, with 0.08 being Pennsylvania's legal limit. However, according to MADD Pennsylvania, around 5,000 more devices may be installed in 2018 as a result of the new law and may prevent a large number of deaths and injuries.

Those who are taken into custody due to alleged drunk driving may understandably be frightened about what will become of their futures. After all, losing a license and possibly losing a job due to a DUI conviction can be life-altering events. However, anyone facing a DUI charge in Pennsylvania has the right to vigorously defend himself or herself at trial and to pursue the most personally favorable outcome, considering the circumstances surrounding his or her arrest.

Source: republicanherald.com, "Stricter DUI interlock law takes effect in Pennsylvania", Clayton Over, Sept. 4, 2017

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