Getting pulled over for alleged drunk driving may not seem like a big deal to many people, particularly for a first offense. But penalties for driving under the influence (DUI) can be severe in Pennsylvania. Convictions can be accompanied by heavy fines, probation, loss of driving privileges, alcohol or drug treatment - and even prison time for multiple offenses.
After a DUI arrest, it is important to understand what consequences you could be facing. This can help you to make informed decisions regarding your options.
If you have a blood alcohol content (BAC) level is .08 to .099 percent, you may face the following penalties:
- No prior offenses - $300 fine, up to six months probation, alcohol highway safety school and possible treatment
- One prior offenses - $300 to $2,500 fine, 12 month license suspension, five days to six months in jail, ignition interlock for one year, alcohol highway safety school and treatment, if ordered
- Two or more prior offenses - $500 to $5,000 fine, 12 month license suspension, ten days to two years in prison, one year of ignition interlock, alcohol highway safety school and possible treatment
Higher BAC levels from .10 to .159 percent result in harsher penalties, including significantly higher fines, longer jail sentences, as well as the addition of jail time and license suspension for a first offense.
As with any legal matter, your best method of defending your legal rights is to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. This person can help you minimize the consequences related to your DUI arrest and work toward the best possible outcome.