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'Blow and go' for first-time DUI: 3 things to know about PA's new ignition-interlock law

In some states, use of ignition-interlock devices (IIDs) after a DUI conviction is already so common that it's casually called "blow and go."

In Pennsylvania, IIDs have not been so common. Though they have been used since 2003, they have been required only after a repeat conviction. But under a new law that takes effect in August, ignition locks will be required after all convictions for driving with a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of .10 or more.

Here are three useful things to know about the new law.

The new law does not apply to accelerated rehabilitative probation (ARD).

Accelerated rehabilitative probation (ARD) is a program by which someone facing first-time DUI charges can resolve those charges without having to having a conviction on his or her record. It involves attending safety courses and participating in alcohol or drug treatment.

Since the IID requirement applies only to convictions, it would not affect you if your case is handled through the ARD procedure.

The new law takes effect in August of this year.

The legislature passed the new IID law, and the governor signed it, in May of last year. But it did not take effect right away.

The law was timed to take effect in 15 months, which means it will start in August of 2017.

If all goes well, you can get the IID removed after one year.

If you drive with an IID device for one year and do not have any incidents, the device can be removed.

Keep in mind, however, that there is an application process for an unrestricted driver's license that must be followed first. Once you have the unrestricted license, you can arrange with the service provider for the interlock to be removed.

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Richard W. Schimizzi
Richard W. Schimizzi

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Matthew R. Schimizzi
Matthew R. Schimizzi

A 2002 graduate from Greater Latrobe High School, Matt graduated summa cum laude from the University of ...

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