Can You Get a Hardship or Conditional License in Pennsylvania?

At some point in the not-so-distant past, a court suspended your driver’s license after you sustained a conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. However, your responsibilities were not suspended along with your driving privileges. Indeed, you have a job, family members and/or other people relying on you and your ability to drive. If this describes your situation, please read on, then contact an experienced Allegheny County DUI lawyer to learn if you can get a hardship or conditional license in Pennsylvania.

What is a hardship or conditional license?

A Pennsylvania hardship or conditional license is a limited license granted to a driver whose license has been suspended or revoked due to an alcohol- or drug-related issue. Should you qualify for it, you can drive again, under restrictions placed on the license by the court.

How do you qualify for a hardship or conditional license in Pennsylvania?

For DUI suspensions, you may potentially apply for an Ignition Interlock Limited License (ILL). This requires that you fill out DMV form DL-9108 (Ignition Interlock Limited License Petition) and have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle. This allows you to drive only the vehicle with the device installed. However, the ILL allows driving for any purpose (not just work-related) at any time (no hour restrictions).

How does PennDOT determine your eligibility?

Whether and when a court will issue you an ILL depends upon the offense which caused the suspension. They break down as follows:
  • A 12-month suspension for chemical test refusal pursuant to Title 75 sec. 1547 is eligible for the ILL after 6 months. Also, please note that the refusal suspension is separate from, and in addition to, any suspension imposed for the DUI. (This can lead to complicated situations where you are facing a 12-month suspension for refusal which is not eligible for ILL for 6 months but also has an additional 12 month DUI suspension which is eligible for ILL for the whole suspension). Refusal and DUI suspensions are always run consecutively and never concurrently.
  • Any DUI suspension as a result of the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program is eligible for the ILL for the whole suspension.
  • A 1-year suspension for a first offense DUI is eligible for the whole suspension.
  • A second offense DUI tier 1 (Gen Impairment) suspension of 1 year is eligible for ILL after 6 months.
  • A second offense DUI tier 2 (High Rate, or minor driver, or driving CDL/school bus) or Tier 3 (Highest rate, chem test refusal, controlled substance) has an 18-month suspension and is eligible for ILL after 9 months
  • A 3rd offense tier 1 (Gen Imp) carries a 12-month suspension and is eligible for ILL after 6 months.
  • A 3rd offense Tier 2 or Tier 3 is an 18-month suspension and is eligible for ILL after 9 months.
  • A 4th or subsequent offense carries an 18-month suspension and is eligible for ILL after 9 months.
Finally, the ILL is only available for regular Class C licenses and not for CDLs.
If this sounds complicated, give us a call today.

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The Law Office of George Heym focuses exclusively on DUI defense. George Heym is a former Allegheny County DUI prosecutor with an understanding of both sides of a DUI case, notable litigation experience, and relationships with local courts. Contact our firm to fight for your rights.

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