Local Senator Wants Ignition Locks for All DUI Offenders

All offenders convicted of drunk driving would require a breathalyzer-like device in the car, if John Rafferty's legislation is passed.

John Rafferty. Credit: Pennsylvania Senate.
John Rafferty. Credit: Pennsylvania Senate.

By Brittany Tressler

Hearings will be held this week on Senator John Rafferty’s legislation to require ignition interlocks on vehicles on all individuals convicted of their first DUI.

SB 1036 will go in front of the Senate Transportation Committee, chaired by Rafferty, of Collegeville, who has been praised by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) for introducing the bill.

“MADD calls on Pennsylvania lawmakers to advance SB 1036. Nearly one third of the total traffic deaths are caused by a drunk driver. This legislation will help save lives, prevent injuries and stop repeat offenses,” said MADD Pennsylvania volunteer Laura Rieg in a press release.

Currently, DUI offenders who had their licenses suspended for a year are required to install an ignition interlock, a small handheld device that tests the alcohol in the driver’s breath before it starts. The new law will require all convicted drunk driver to install an interlock on their vehicles for six months.

The interlock also can require periodic breath checks while driving, to prevent someone other than the driver starting the vehicle.

The cost to install the interlock ranges from $50 to $200.  There is a monthly fee for the system that ranges from $50 to $100.

Similar legislation has been introduced in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.


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