People rarely plan on being pulled over by law enforcement and even fewer people plan on being charged with driving under the influence. Even so, it does happen. While some people are under the impression that a single DUI conviction is not a huge deal, it can have very real consequences.
In the state of Pennsylvania, any DUI conviction will have significant penalties, but the severity of these penalties generally depends on the driver's blood alcohol content (BAC) and the circumstances under which they were caught.
Types of penalties
If convicted of driving under the influence, a person with be subject to two types of legal penalties: criminal and administrative.
As previously stated, the severity on the penalties for a first DUI will depend largely on the BAC of the driver. The legal limit is a BAC of 0.08 percent. The greater the BAC, the more severe the penalties.
· 0.08 - 0.99 - A fine of at least $300 and 6 months of probation. It should be noted that the fine does not cover any additional legal fees that were amassed during the case.
· 0.10 - 0.159 - A fine ranging from $500 to $5,000 and between 2 days and 6 months of jail time.
· 0.16 or more - A fine ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 and between 3 days and 6 months of jail time.
· License suspension - There is no required license suspension if the driver's BAC was below 0.099, but if it was above 0.099 the driver's license may be suspended for a year.
· Interlock Ignition Devices - Known widely as IIDs, an interlock ignition device is a device that is installed in a vehicle and prevents the vehicle from starting unless the driver takes a breathalyzer test and is found to have no alcohol in their system. These can be required by court order.
The state of Pennsylvania has what are known as implied consent laws. By operating a vehicle in Pennsylvania, a driver has consented to take a chemical test if they are pulled over and requested to do so by law enforcement. Refusing to take a test will result in their driver's license being immediately revoked for a year.
Even a single DUI conviction can seriously impact the rest of a person's life. In these types of situations, a solid legal defense can make all of the difference. If you find yourself in such a situation, it is recommended that you obtain the services of a knowledgeable legal professional.