In Pennsylvania, there are harsh penalties for driving while under the influence. However, due to a number of pushes at the law, there may soon be an increase in punishment. The state is also looking to tighten up its DUI laws.
Getting charged with a DUI can be devastating. Whether it is your first DUI charge or not, you will want to know what penalties you might be facing ahead of time so that you can better prepare yourself for your court case. Here at Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, we understand that you want to minimize the impact that your DUI may have on your life. We strive to provide you with information that can help.
It is possible for some people to get a second chance after receiving DUI charges. This chance is often welcomed by Pennsylvania residents who are facing serious drunk driving penalties. A drunk driving conviction can affect a person for years. It can also be difficult for a person to keep a job or go to school after a DUI conviction, since a DUI often results in the loss of a driver’s license.
If you’re facing DUI charges, you may wonder what penalties you’re facing. Depending on whether you’ve had any previous drunk driving convictions in Pennsylvania, you may only face a fine, or you could end up with more serious consequences such as heavier fines and jail time. You may also end up with an order to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. The attorneys at Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C., fully understand the laws surrounding first-time and subsequent DUIs in Pennsylvania, including ignition interlock laws.
Law enforcement in many states, including Pennsylvania, utilize the field sobriety test as a way to determine if someone may be intoxicated without using a breath or chemical test. This can be a quick way to get a drunk driver off the road during a routine traffic stop. However, passing a field sobriety test isn’t as easy as people may think. Even those who haven’t been drinking may have trouble performing the actions that are conducted during a standardized field sobriety test.
According to the Pennsylvania General Assembly, it is illegal for a person to consume a sufficient amount of alcohol that renders them incapable of operating a vehicle safely. Additionally, a driver may be arrested for drunk driving if their level of impairment falls under one of Pennsylvania’s three categories for DUI. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation states that these three levels include general impairment, high BAC and highest BAC.
In Pennsylvania, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, receiving more than one DUI is associated with serious consequences. For example, those arrested for more than two DWI offenses with a blood alcohol content level between .08 and .099 are subject to 12 months of license suspension, a fine of up to $5,000 and between 10 days and two years in prison. Those caught driving with a BAC level between 0.10 to .159 with three or more prior DUI offenses may be required to spend up to five years in prison and pay a fine of $1,500 to $10,000. However, there are some situations where repeat offenders may not face severe penalties for drinking and driving.
Getting arrested for drunk driving can be a frustrating situation due to the consequences associated with this crime. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, upon a first offense, those arrested for drunk driving may be required to pay a $300 fine, participate in a year of probation and attend alcohol safety school. For every additional DUI arrest, the penalties increase. For example, after two or more DUIs, drunk drivers may be charged with anywhere from 10 days to two years in prison, the requirement to pay a fine worth several thousand dollars and may have to use an ignition interlock device in their vehicle for a year.
Although many DUI offenders learn from their mistakes, for some Pennsylvanians change comes only after multiple arrests and the loss of a life. This pattern of behavior affects the offender as well; after someone is charged with drunk driving, he may lose the ability to drive or even serve a prison sentence.
When Pennsylvanians are arrested for drunk driving, the news is often made public and it quickly finds it way to friends, family members, and even acquaintances. For this reason, it is critically important for law enforcement to ensure that anyone that they arrest for drunk driving is above the legal limit.