Being charged with a DUI can be a frightening experience. Many, if not most, Pennsylvanians rely on their car, truck or SUV to get them to work. Many others need their license to perform their job duties. Regardless of your particular circumstance, Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates may be able to protect your license while mitigating or eliminating the other penalties you may face. We have represented thousands of Pennsylvanians in DUI and DUI-related matters.
How Is a DUI Defined in Pennsylvania?
Even if you think you are familiar with drunk driving laws in Pennsylvania, you should consider the following because the laws changed in 2008. As part of the new DUI regime, the BAC, blood alcohol content, threshold was reduced. Additionally, the new law emphasizes treatment for first-time offenders but can also impose harsh penalties.
In Pennsylvania, there are now 3 tiers of DUI. The first tier begins at .08% and continues to .099% BAC. It is considered the lowest level of DUI. The “High” DUI range runs from .10% to .159% BAC while the “Highest” level of DUI is for a BAC greater than .16%. For commercial drivers, drivers under the age of 21 and drivers of school buses the limits are lower. For underage drivers and school bus drivers, the legal limit is .02%. For commercial drivers possessing a CDL, the legal limit is .04%.
What are the Penalties for DUI in Dauphin County, PA?
In Pennsylvania, the penalty that can be imposed for DUI depends on your BAC and if this is your first, or a repeat offense. Because so many combinations exist, this page cannot address every possible circumstance. However, we can examine a few scenarios to familiarize ourselves with the level of punishment for the scenario. For example:
- For a first-time DUI when the BAC is in the lowest range, .08% to .099%, a license suspension is not mandatory nor is jail time. The crime is considered an upgraded misdemeanor and can carry up to 6 months of probation. Alcohol highway safety school is required and a judge may impose additional treatment.
- For a first-time DUI when your BAC is in the “high” range of .10% to .159%, significantly more harsh penalties apply. While it is still considered an upgraded misdemeanor, an 1-year license suspension applies and a prison sentence of 48 hours to 6 months may be imposed.
- For a third-time repeat DUI when your BAC is in the lowest range, the crime becomes a 2nd degree misdemeanor carrying a 1 year license suspension, 10 days to up to 2 years in prison, a $500 to $5000 fine, treatment, and an order for a ignition interlock device for one year.
Special penalties apply to minors, school bus drivers, and drivers who cause injury or property damage while legally impaired.
Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) for First Time DUI Offenders
As previously discussed, Pennsylvania’s 2008 DUI law attempts to provide a path to rehabilitation to first time DUI offenders. However, not all Pennsylvanians are eligible for ARD and it isn’t always necessarily in your best interest to submit to the program. However an experienced DUI attorney can guide you in making the determination about what option is most likely to be more favorable. Generally speaking, to qualify for ARD, your criminal record must be clean. Additionally, you may only participate in the ARD program once every 10 years. So, if you have had charges dismissed through the ARD program previously, you may not be eligible. However, if you qualify for ARD and successfully complete the program, your charges are dismissed.
Dauphin County DUI Defense Lawyers Offering Free Consultations
If you have been charged with a first or repeat DUI in Dauphin County, put our experience to work for you. Contact the DUI defense lawyers of Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates today by calling (215) 701-6519 in Pennsylvania today or contact us online.