Roughly half of all U.S. states today have legislation requiring first-time DUI offenders to obtain ignition interlock devices for their cars, Arizona included. New to the list is Pennsylvania, which just passed a new law requiring drunken drivers with a first-time conviction and a blood alcohol concentration of 0.10 or greater to use a car breathalyzer for at least a year after regaining their license.
Before, Pennsylvania only required interlock cups for repeat-offense drunk drivers. However, the new law is still not as strict as Arizona’s, which requires every driver with a 0.08 BAC or higher get a mandatory ignition interlock, even on a first offense.
“Drunk driving is a deadly crime that puts Pennsylvania families at risk, and this legislation will help prevent people from driving drunk and endangering themselves and putting other lives at risk,” Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf said after signing the bill into law. “We owe it to both motorists and pedestrians to keep them safe and hold people who break DUI laws accountable.”
Right now, there are already about 150,000 cars with ignition interlock systems installed across the country in an attempt to stem the spread of repeat-offense drunk drivers. There’s not much they can do, though, about first-time offenses if ignition interlock devices are only installed in cars after an offense.
Should ignition interlock devices simply become standard equipment in all cars? If they do, their sensor limits will likely be set well below the legal 0.08 BAC level — probably at 0.03 or 0.04 — because people vary so much in their tolerance. In fact, you can still be arrested and convicted of a DUI charge even with a blood alcohol concentration level below the 0.08 limit.
Every state in the U.S. has some kind of law in place regarding the use of interlock devices, but they vary in terms of length requirements, number of convictions, and BAC levels. Many advocates, including Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, are pushing for more stringent and uniform legislation across the country.
If you find yourself facing a DUI conviction in Arizona, chances are you’ll need a car breathalyzer. Talk with a certified and licensed installer to learn more about affordable ignition interlock device solutions.