The Philadelphia DUI Law Blog

Ignition Interlock Devices Nationwide for First Time Offenders?

It looks like it might be time to buy stock in ignition interlock device companies. Congress has been deadlocked recently over highway funding bills, with House Republicans pushing a ninety-day temporary bill through and Senate Democrats trying to push a longer-term bill as well.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, one small key difference, which hasn't attracted much attention, is the payments given to states that require first-time DUI offenders to install ignition interlock devices into their cars. Under the plan, certain highway funds would be earmarked for states that require such a measure.

Recently, Virginia passed a law requiring the devices for all first time offenders. California has a pilot program in place for certain counties. Pennsylvania, if they want additional highway funds, might be next.

In Pennsylvania, first time offenders are not subject to ignition interlock requirements. It is only those who have already committed a second offense that are punished with these devices.

In California, first time offenders are usually exempt from ignition interlock requirements as well, though the pilot program that runs through 2015 requires those convicted in certain counties to install ignition interlock devices after their first offense.

Virginia's new law requires it for everyone who gets a DUI. BAC, number of priors, and age are all irrelevant.

It seems that the federal government is hoping to entice others to adopt similar provisions. Congress has previously used the purse-strings power to entice states to enact speed limits across the county. Now they hoping to use monetary incentives to force broke states to enact even more local driving regulations.

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