Driving Under the Influence

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charges can result in serious consequences.  If convicted you may be subject to a fine, loss of license and potentially time in jail.  The amount of the fine, whether and for how long your license is suspended and whether and how much jail time you face depends on a number of factors.  Generally, the penalties associated with a DUI conviction depend on how many prior DUIs you have within the past ten years, your blood alcohol level, whether you consented to testing and whether or not an accident was involved.

Penalties

The penalties for a DUI conviction increase with you blood alcohol level and with each subsequent conviction.  The following table depicts the range of penalties. 

 

 

TIER ONE

 

·  General Impairment

·  B.A.C. of .08 to .099%

·  Incapable of Safe Driving

TIER TWO

 

·  High Rate DUI

·  B.A.C. of .10 to .159%

·  General Impairment with an Accident

 

TIER THREE

 

·  Highest Rate DUI

·  B.A.C. of .16%+

·  Refused Testing

·  Controlled Substances (Drugs)

 

First Offense

Grading

M

M

M

Max Sentence

6 Months

6 Months

6 Months

License Suspension

None

12 Months

12 Months

Mandatory Imprisonment

None

2 Days

3 Days

Fine

$300

$500 to $5,000

$1,000 to $5,000

Second Offense

Grading

M

M

M1

Max Sentence

6 Months

6 Months

5 Years

License Suspension

12 Months

12 Months

18 Months

Mandatory Imprisonment

5 Days

30 Days

90 Days

Fine

$300 to $2,500

$750 to $5,000

$1,500+

Third Offense

Grading

M2

M1

M1

Max Sentence

2 Years

5 Years

5 Years

License Suspension

12 Months

18 Months

18 Months

Mandatory Imprisonment

10 Days

90 Days

1 Year

Fine

$500 to $5,000

$1,500 to $10,000

$2,500+

Fourth Offense

Grading

Same as Third Offense

M1

Same as Third Offense

Max Sentence

5 Years

License Suspension

18 Months

Mandatory Imprisonment

1 Year

Fine

$1,500 to $10,000

   

In addition to all of the above penalties, individuals convicted of Driving Under the Influence may also be ordered to undergo a drug and alcohol assessment through the Court Reporting Network (CRN evaluation), participate in Alcohol Safety School, drug and/or alcohol treatment and other conditions of supervision imposed by the court. 

Refusing the Chemical Test

In Pennsylvania anyone who holds a driver’s license and is in actual physical control of a motor vehicle is deemed to have given implied consent to be tested for alcohol or drugs if a police officer has reasonable grounds to believe the person has been driving while impaired.  You are not entitled to an attorney during the chemical test.  If you refuse the test and are subsequently convicted, the penalty is the same as if you took the test and scored a B.A.C. at the highest rate.  In addition as a result of your refusal, if convicted, you will be subject to a 12 month license suspension that is on top of any suspension associated with the underlying DUI conviction. 

Avoiding Jail

It is possible, in certain circumstances, to avoid serving the required mandatory minimum in county prison through house arrest or work release.  Your ability to achieve such a result often depends on the specific circumstances of your case, the steps you take to prepare your case and the case that you present to the court. 

Maintaining Your License for Work, School or Treatment

In certain circumstances, individuals who qualify may apply for and receive an Occupational Limited License (OLL) where the operation of a motor vehicle is essential to the individual’s occupation, work, trade, treatment or study.  Whether or not you qualify depends in part on the length of the suspension you are sentenced to, the existence and number of any prior offenses.  In instances where you are eligible, you will still be required to serve a portion of the sentenced suspension prior to being eligible for an OLL.  In addition, repeat offenders who seek restoration of their driver’s license on a restricted basis during the suspension period must have an ignition interlock installed on all vehicles owned by or registered to them.

Whether you have been charged with your first offense or your third, having an experienced attorney on your side is critical to your ability to defend yourself against the government’s allegations.  I have the knowledge and experience to help you achieve the best possible results. Call 412-238-4050 or click here to schedule a free consultation and we can discuss the specific circumstances of your case.  I offer flexible office hours, including evenings to work around your schedule.  I look forward to meeting you and discussing with you how I can help.

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