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New measures countering drunk driving become effective Friday, Aug. 25

HARRISBURG, Pa. — New measures to counter drunk driving will become effective Friday, August 25.

The new legislation, which was sponsored by Senate Transportation Committee Chairman John Rafferty, requires first-time offenders with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) higher than .10 percent to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in their vehicles, the release states. Previously, the IID was required for only second and subsequent offenders.

According to the release, first-time offenders are now allowed to drive immediately with the IID rather than wait until after serving a driver’s license suspension.

The new law also applies to drivers who refuse to submit chemical testing. On Friday, first-time offenders who refuse testing will have their license suspended but can get IID’s after serving six months of their suspensions.

“Drivers who are Under the Influence are a danger, not only to themselves and their passengers, but also to other roadway users including bicyclists and pedestrians,” said Mark McCormick of AAA Central Penn. “We commend Senator Rafferty and the Legislature for taking this important step for transportation safety.”