Can You Still Drive After Having Your License Suspended for DUI?

There are plenty of reasons for being stressed and aggravated after being convicted of Driving Under the Influence, but one of the biggest reasons is that having your license suspended creates so many challenges. Where once you had the freedom to grab your keys and go wherever you wanted, after your license has been suspended you are in the position of having to ask for a ride everywhere. The impact is enormous, especially for those who need to get to work or school, not to mention being able to run simple errands like going to doctor’s appointments or to the grocery store.  However, with the passage of an ignition interlock law in Pennsylvania in 2017, those charged and convicted of DUI now have the ability to get some semblance of normalcy back in their lives.

The new law offers those who have been convicted of DUI the ability to continue driving as needed, while still providing the general public with a high level of certainty that they are not operating their vehicle after having consumed alcohol.  The law makes it a requirement for a person convicted of a DUI to have an ignition interlock system installed in their vehicle before they can have their license restored. Once installed, the convicted DUI driver would have to blow into a device that tests their breath for alcohol before they are able to start their car. If any alcohol is detected, the vehicle won’t start.  The technology is available for drivers who have been convicted for the first time within a ten-year period, despite the fact that their license has been suspended for either 12 or 18 months. The technology is also available for those who have been convicted subsequent times, but only after they have gone through a true license suspension period of six to nine months.

The availability of the interlock license introduces a new opportunity for those convicted of DUI to return to a normal life. The additional penalties that accompany their conviction will remain in place. Likewise, first-time offenders will have the opportunity to apply for the ARD program, which can significantly shorten the period of license suspension if the driver qualifies and successfully completes the program.

If you have been charged with DUI in Pennsylvania, it is important for you to work with an experienced attorney who can guide you through the process and ensure that you have access to all the information you need to provide you with the best possible outcome. Contact us today to learn about your rights and how we can help.