A DUI — The Medical Professional — and A Ignition Interlock License

On Behalf of | Dec 12, 2018 | Blog, Firm News, Pennsylvania Criminal Law, Philadelphia Criminal Justice Updates, Professional License Issues |

A DUI related driver’s license suspension is a major issue for all productive members of society. We need to drive to work, be a parent, and simply live a normal life. My health care clients are acutely aware of this issue due to the medical employment circumstances in which they work. Travel nurses, agency nurses, locum tenens physicians, early morning surgeons, real estate sales agents, civil engineers, and last but not least pharmacists all need their drivers.

Originally the driver’s license suspension civil consequence was a legislative policy decision trying to incentivize people to stop driving intoxicated. It did not work. The draconian license suspension consequence, unfortunately, metamorphosed into an employment related consequence that stripped the least able to afford to pay of their ability to pay restitution, court costs, and comply with probation. It became a regressive tax.

The no-jail DUI defendant still needed to carry life’s financial burdens. People drove while serving DUI-related suspension, creating more fines, costs, and longer license suspensions. Things only got financially worse, creating more stress and more drinking.

Also, the license suspension deterrent did not decrease rates of alcohol consumption or drunk driving offenses. Uber reduced drunk driving offenses (and fines and court cost revenue), not alcohol use. It is for this reason in 2018 the Pennsylvania legislature created a new ignition interlock driver’s license. The ignition interlock law attempts to alleviate one year, 18 months, or two year driver’s license suspensions in favor of alcohol related treatment and abstinence.

The ignition interlock protocol allows for shorter driver’s license suspensions if the licensee can afford the interlock device and does not have alcohol on their breath when attempting to drive. The licensee blows into a straw attached to the ignition interlock device. This ensures alcohol abstinence in exchange for a shorter driver’s license suspension and a quicker eligibility date to drive. The legislature seeks to balance people’s need to drive to work and be productive members of society against road safety. The ILL is a policy decision providing an additional incentive to remain alcohol free.

The attached spreadsheet sets forth the ILL interlock driver’s license suspension time associated with a first, second, and third offense DUI with a first, second, and third tier DUI offense. ILLL Grid for Pennsylvania DUI’s.pdf To obtain your Pennsylvania Ignition Interlock Limited License (IILL), PennDOT will mail an individual a restoration requirements letter thirty days prior to an individual’s restoration eligibility date. The letter will include an application for an IILL.

You will need to submit the following to Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT):

  • A completed DL9108 form for the IILL application
  • Complete IID installation and have installer sign the DL9108SC form. The DL9108SC form will be returned once completed

Please call me to discuss your DUI, your professional life, your receipt of a letter of concern after charged with a DUI, and how to protect both your drivers and professional license.