As someone accused of an impaired driving offense, you may think of an ignition interlock device (IID) as an insult. After all, the automatic suspension of your license that comes from drunk driving charges or a refusal to perform a breath test during a roadside stop may feel like an unfair punishment for a crime that you have not yet been convicted of in a court of law.
Administrative license suspensions are a standard process, and they can be a very difficult and heavy burden for those accused of driving under the influence (DUI) offenses in Pennsylvania, although you can request a limited license or a full license reinstatement, depending on the circumstances.
Not having your license means becoming dependent on taxis, rideshare services, public transportation or the goodwill of others in order to get where you need to go.
The problems that come from not having a license
When you can’t drive, getting where you need to go will probably cost you more and take much longer. You could miss appointments or wind up late for work, which could endanger your job if it happens more than a few times during the lengthy suspensions that come from DUI offenses.
Losing your license completely is a headache that can impact your career, your reputation and your relationships. Installing an IID can be a way to maintain your freedom while you seek to prove your innocence in a DUI case, which is why it can be smart to view it as a positive option instead of a punishment.
Installing an IID lets you retain a limited license
There are certain circumstances in which the state of Pennsylvania will mandate the installation of an IID as part of the process of regaining your license. Repeat DUI offenders, as well as those with an extremely high blood alcohol concentration at the time of their arrest often wind up ordered by the courts to install an IID.
While you will have to pay for the installation of the device, perform a test every time you drive and pay maintenance charges for the device, doing so is usually a better option than losing your license entirely.
The license you receive after the installation of an IID is a limited license. It only authorizes you to drive a vehicle with an IID installed. If police catch you driving a vehicle without an IID, you can lose your limited license and face other consequences as well. The same is true if you get caught trying to trick or disable the IID in your vehicle. Full compliance with the IID program will make it easier for you to regain your full license and driving privileges as soon as possible.