Did you enjoy time with family and friends during the holiday season? Did you partake in alcohol during these festive occasions? Did you take a chance and drive afterwards even though you felt you may be close to the legal limit? If so, consider yourself very lucky if you were not pulled over. Being charged with a DUI in Pennsylvania, even for first time offenders, is a very serious crime and often happens to people who think they are okay to drive.
The consequences of a DUI are in place to deter people from becoming repeat offenders. However, it may be useful to see the penalties for a first-time offender to keep you from ever being convicted at all.
In Pennsylvania, the amount of alcohol in your system when you are pulled over will dictate the type of penalties you will receive. The higher your blood alcohol content (BAC) the more significant circumstances you will have to face. Here are the three general categories you would fall into if you are convicted of DUI.
The point you are considered impaired while driving is a BAC of .08. If you are at that level all the way up to .99 at the time of your arrest, you may face up to six months of probation and a fine up to $300. You will need to obey strict rules while on probation and will need to attend a class on driver’s safety.
If you have a level of impairment between .10 to .159, you will be facing even harsher penalties. The most serious could being a prison sentence that could be from two days up to six months. Fines at this level will also increase to between $500 and $5,000. On top of these penalties, you could have your license revoked for a full year. At this level you will also be required to attend the driver’s safety class in addition to other mandatory treatment and possible other assorted charges.
A person driving with a BAC above .16 is an extreme danger to not only themselves, but other drivers on the road. Because of this, penalties could include between three days and six months in jail and fines in the range of $1,000 to $5,000. You will also have your license suspended for one-year and will need to attend a driver’s safety class. Other mandatory treatments and charges will likely be added on.
The above information is for drivers who are convicted for their first DUI offense. The penalties increase for each level of impairment for second and third offenses. If you receive a DUI conviction, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible to retain the best possible outcome to your case. By working with an attorney, you will be able to understand how to follow the steps you need to take in the process and how you can retain your driving privileges as quickly as possible.