Driving Under the Influence

We all know that it’s unsafe and against the law to drink and drive. But sometimes, it’s just too easy to do. If you have been out having drinks with friends and need a way to get home, it can be very tempting to just drive yourself home instead of pay for a taxi. But if you are caught, or if you cause an accident while driving drunk, you could find yourself in serious trouble.

Pennsylvania law (Title 75, Chapter 38 http://www.legis.state.pa.us/WU01/LI/LI/CT/HTM/75/00.038..HTM) punishes drunk drivers harshly because of the danger that it can present to other drivers on the road. In fact, Pennsylvania has lowered the blood alcohol content level for a charge of drunk driving to 0.08%, which can be reached by some people after only a few drinks. If you have been charged with a DUI, call a Pennsylvania criminal defense lawyer right away.

The law has established different levels of drunk driving, based on alcohol content, and each level results in different penalties. The penalties [http://www.dmv.state.pa.us/legislation/dui.shtml] also depend on whether you have committed a drunk driving offense in the past. The law works as follows.

BAC of 0.08% to 0.99%, no prior DUI offenses

  • Ungraded misdemeanor
  • Up to 6 months probation
  • $300 fine
  • Alcohol highway safety school
  • Treatment when ordered

BAC of 0.1% to .159%, no prior DUI offenses

  • Ungraded misdemeanor
  • 12 month license suspension
  • 48 hours to 6 months in prison
  • $500 to $5000 fine
  • Alcohol highway safety school
  • Treatment when ordered

BAC of 0.16% or higher or a controlled substance, no prior DUI offenses

  • Ungraded misdemeanor
  • 12 month license suspension
  • 72 hours to 6 months in prison
  • $1000 to $5000 fine
  • Alcohol highway safety school
  • Treatment when ordered

BAC of 0.08% to 0.99%, 1 prior DUI offense

  • Ungraded misdemeanor
  • 12 month license suspension
  • 5 days to 6 months jail time
  • $300 to $2,500 fine
  • Alcohol highway safety school
  • Treatment when ordered
  • 1 year ignition interlock

BAC of 0.1% to .159%, 1 prior DUI offense

  • Ungraded misdemeanor
  • 12 month suspension
  • 30 days to 6 months prison
  • $750 to $5,000 fine
  • Alcohol highway safety school treatment when ordered
  • 1 year ignition interlock

BAC of 0.16% or higher or a controlled substance, 1 prior DUI offense

  • 1st degree misdemeanor
  • 18 month license suspension
  • 90 days to 5 years prison
  • $1,500 to $10,000 fine
  • Alcohol highway safety school
  • Treatment when ordered
  • 1 year ignition interlock

BAC of 0.08% to 0.99%, 2 or more prior DUI offenses

  • 2nd degree misdemeanor
  • 12 month license suspension
  • 10 days to 2 years prison
  • $500 to $5,000 fine
  • Treatment when ordered
  • 1 year ignition interlock

BAC of 0.1% to .159%, 2 or more prior DUI offenses

  • 1st degree misdemeanor
  • 18 month license suspension
  • 90 days to 5 years prison
  • $1,500 to $10,000 fine
  • Treatment when ordered
  • 1 year ignition interlock

BAC of 0.16% or higher or a controlled substance, 2 or more prior DUI offenses

  • 1st degree misdemeanor
  • 18 month license suspension
  • 1 to 5 years prison
  • $2,500 to $10,000
  • Treatment when ordered
  • 1 year ignition interlock

Because of these harsh punishments, it is very important that you work with an experienced Pennsylvania DUI attorney to help you fight the charges against you and have these steep penalties reduced.

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