Changes to PA Act 24

Changes to PA Act 24 since September 30, 2003

The following outlines specific components of the new law, and changes from the previous law that impacts DUI drivers.

  1. Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Levels
    • The Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level for per se DUI is lowered to .08%.
      -Effective September 30, 2003
    • Penalties for DUI will be based on BAC and prior offenses.
      -Effective February 1, 2004
  2. Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD)
    • Requires courts to impose suspensions for BAC ARDs based on the following BAC ranges:
      • Less than .10% – no suspension,
      • .10% to less than .16 – 30 day suspension, or
      • .16% and above – 60 day suspension

      -Effective February 1, 2004

  3. License Suspensions
    • Suspensions will be imposed as follows:
      • BAC below .10% and incapable of safe driving: No suspension for first offense if the driver meets certain criteria; 12 month license suspension for second or subsequent offense.
      • BAC greater than or equal to .10% and less than .16%: 12 month license suspension for first and second offense. 18 month suspension for third or subsequent offense.
      • BAC greater than or equal to .16%: 12 month license suspension for first offense. 18 month suspension for second or subsequent offense.
      • Out-of-state DUI convictions: No suspension for first offense; 12 month license suspension for second or subsequent offense.

      -Effective February 1, 2004

  4. DUI Treatment and Evaluation:
    • Treatment and evaluation processes are geared to rehabilitation.
      -Effective – Phased-In Through 2009
  5. Ignition Interlock:
    • Drivers who receive a second or subsequent DUI violation on or after September 30, 2003, can no longer serve an additional one year suspension in lieu of obtaining an ignition interlock device. Drivers are required to install ignition interlock on all vehicles owned (including leased) before driving privileges can be restored.
      -Effective September 30, 2003
    • Additionally, the following exemptions and penalties have been added:
      • Financial Hardship Exemption: Drivers may apply for an exemption from the requirement to install the ignition interlock device on all of their vehicles. If the exemption is granted, ignition interlock installation will only be required on one vehicle.
        -Effective February 1, 2004
      • Employment Exemption: Under certain circumstances, ignition interlock restricted drivers may operate employer owned vehicles but only in the course and scope of employment. The employee must notify the employer of the ignition interlock restriction and carry proof of employer notification on a PennDOT form. The employer owned vehicle cannot be a school bus/vehicle or large passenger vehicle.
        -Effective February 1, 2004
      • Ignition Interlock Violations: Individuals convicted of driving without or tampering with the ignition interlock device will have their ignition interlock period extended 12 month from the date of conviction for the first offense and will have their driving privileges suspended for 12 months for the second or subsequent offenses. Upon restoration they must comply with ignition interlock for 12 months. Individuals, whose driving privileges are suspended during the ignition interlock period for a non-ignition interlock violation, must complete the ignition interlock period upon restoration.
        -Effective February 1, 2004
  6. Occupational Limited Licenses (OLL’s):
    • First time DUI offenders may be eligible for an OLL after serving 60 days of their suspension. Individuals whose licenses are suspended for 18 months (for DUI or refusing breath or chemical testing) and have no more than one prior offense may be eligible for an OLL with an ignition interlock after serving 12 months of their suspension. In addition, first time underage drinking violators may be eligible for an OLL.
      -Effective February 1, 2004
  7. Expungement of Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition (ARD) Records:
    • PennDOT will automatically expunge ARD records after 10 years providing a person’s operating privileges were not revoked as a habitual offender and/or the person was not a commercial driver at the time of the violation.
      -Effective February 1, 2004
  8. Credit (Suspension):
    • Individuals suspended for driving a vehicle not equipped with an ignition interlock device or driving under a DUI-related suspension, with a BAC of .02% or greater cannot receive credit for their suspension until jail time has been served.
      -Effective February 1, 2004
  9. Implied Consent/Breath or Chemical Testing
    • Suspensions for individuals who refuse to submit to breath or chemical testing may be increased. Breath or chemical testing may now be required for individuals who are arrested for driving under a DUI-related suspension or driving without an ignition interlock device.
      -Effective February 1, 2004