Despite decades of public outreach and increasingly punitive laws, DUI offenses are still shockingly common. Perhaps the dulling of the senses by alcohol makes it easier for people to rationalize that they are okay to drive or that they do not have to go far. Maybe the numerous factors that impact what your BAC is – gender, body weight, drinking on a full or empty stomach, you body’s ability to metabolize alcohol, time elapsed and ABV of your drink to name a few – makes it easy to slip-up and have one too many drinks before heading home.
Whatever the reason for your DUI, facing the charge can be extremely nerve-wracking as it can threaten your life and livelihood as you know it. However, you don’t have to face these charges alone. An experienced DUI defense attorney, like those at Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates can reduce your anxiety over the process. Further, they can protect your driver’s license, fight to keep you out of jail, and work to reduce or eliminate many of the penalties against you.
How is DUI Defined in Pennsylvania?
Since the 2008 re-write of the DUI law, DUI in Pennsylvania has been segmented into three tiers:
- General Impairment requiring a BAC greater than .08% but not more than .099%.
- High BAC covering BACs from .10% to .159%.
- Highest BAC consisting of DUIs greater than .160%
If you are a minor, are driving a school bus, or are driving a commercial vehicle the legal limit is much lower. School bus drivers and minors can be charged with a DUI f their BAC is .02% or greater. For commercial drivers, those that possesses a CDL, the limit is .04 %. Driving under the influence of prescription drugs such as oxycodone, street drugs like marijuana, cocaine or ecstasy, or even allergy medications can trigger a DUI if it appears that you are impaired. While not strictly a DUI crime, under Pennsylvania’s implied consent law, failure to submit to breath or chemical tests can subject a driver to the highest BAC penalties.
What is the Punishment for DUI in Pennsylvania?
In Pennsylvania the types and level of punishment you can face for a DUI is dependent on both your BAC and the number of times you have violated the law. While consequences for first time offenders focuses on rehabilitation, its consequences can still be harsh. Penalties for repeat or high BAC DUIs are harsh and grow even harsher as BAC and the instance of the offense increases. A first time offender with a BAC of .08 to .099% (general impairment) can face:
- An upgraded misdemeanor DUI charge.
- Up to 6 months of probation
- Alcohol safety school
- Additional treatment as required by the judge
In contrast a first time offender in the highest BAC range (greater than .16%) can face:
- A license suspension of 12 months
- 3 days to 6 months in prison
- A fine of $1,000 to $5,000
- Alcohol safety school
- Any other treatment ordered by the court
Generally speaking, repeat DUI offenders are subject to a license suspension and the mandatory installation and use of an ignition interlock device for 1 year. Further, the more severe DUI offense can be charged as a second or first degree misdemeanor.
Put our experience to work for you
Facing DUI charges is a serious matter – don’t face them alone. Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates has helped thousands of Pennsylvanians handle their DUI charge. Contact us today by calling (609) 755-3115 in New Jersey or (215) 701-6519 in Pennsylvania or by contact us online.