The Philadelphia DUI Law Blog

Penn Supreme Court Addresses ARD and Ignition Interlock Rule

The ARD and the ignition interlock rule: In a case having statewide ramifications, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that acceptance into the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program counts as a DUI conviction when determining whether someone needs to install the ignition interlock device.

In Pennsylvania, someone convicted of two or more DUIs within a ten-year period is generally required to install the ignition interlock device, reports The Times-Leader. The device ensures that the driver is sober before allowing them to operate the vehicle.

At issue was whether someone who had entered into the ARD program and then later had another DUI would be required to install the device. That's because upon successful completion of the ARD program, someone's DUI is expunged, and does not technically count as a DUI conviction.

So if you had been arrested for a DUI and successfully completed the ARD program, and then were arrested a second time for a DUI, you would only have one DUI conviction to your name -- thereby allowing the argument that the ignition interlock device did not have to be installed.

But the Pennsylvania Supreme Court did not agree, reports the Times-Leader. The court acknowledged that completion of the ARD program expunges the DUI, but the court also noted that an ARD has been found to be the equivalent of a conviction under certain circumstances.

The court found that someone who enters into the ARD program has essentially admitted to committing the crime, regardless of whether it technically constitutes a conviction. So the court concluded that it should count when determining whether the ignition interlock rules applies.

To sum up ARD and the ignition interlock rule, while someone generally needs two DUI convictions to be required to install the ignition interlock device, the requirement may also apply to those with one DUI conviction and one successful completion of the ARD program.

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