Driving while Under the Influence: Consequences

Driving while Under the Influence: Consequences

Drinking and Driving

Being charged for driving under the influence is a stressful situation whether arrested for a first, second or third offense. A conviction may severely alter an individual’s life in terms of driving ability, financial stability, and current or future employment options. Penalties might also jeopardize your freedom. Contacting a Lebanon criminal law attorney should be your first step after being arrested for a DUI offense. In addition to building a defense strategy, legal counsel ensures your rights under the law are protected.

Blood Alcohol Content in Pennsylvania

• General level of impairment-0.08 to 0.099 percent
• Highly impaired-0.10 to 0.159 percent
• Highest level of impairment-0.16 percent or under the influence of a controlled substance

DUI Penalties

In the state of Pennsylvania, penalties are determined by the level of impairment and whether you have prior DUI convictions. Anyone who refuses blood alcohol testing is automatically classified under the highest level of impairment. In addition to incarceration and monetary fines, convictions may include many hours of community service.

• 1st offense:

The sentence for a first DUI offense ranges from six months probation to suspension of your driver’s license and the possibility of spending up to one year in jail. Monetary fines range from $300 to $5,000. In addition, all convictions require mandatory attendance in alcohol highway safety school along with an alcohol and substance abuse evaluation. If the drug and alcohol evaluator recommends any alcohol or substance abuse treatment, the court will require you to comply with those recommendations.

• 2nd offense:

A second offense automatically includes suspension of your driver’s license for one year. Prison sentences range from three days to five years. Monetary fines span from $500 to $10,000. In addition to alcohol safe driving school and a drug and alcohol evaluation, you may be required to have an ignition interlocking system installed in your vehicle for one year.

• 3rd offense:

A repeat offender loses their driver’s license for 12 to 18 months. They might spend anywhere from ten days to five years in prison. Fines may range from $500 to $10,000. Additional penalties include alcohol safe driving school attendance, an alcohol and substance abuse evaluation, and an ignition interlocking system for one year.

Minors Driving Under the Influence

Pennsylvania has a zero tolerance policy for anyone under the age of 21 caught drinking and driving. Penalties may include a one year driver’s license suspension, jail for two days to two years, and monetary fines ranging from $500 to $5,000.

If you or a family member is facing a DUI charge or any other type of legal trouble, contact the skilled criminal law attorneys at the aw firm of Henry & Beaver.