Chester County DUI Penalties

DUIs in Chester County are taken very seriously, especially considering a person’s blood alcohol content can define the penalties that person accused of DUI will face. Even for an individual’s first-time offense, a high BAC will result in extensive penalties for a DUI in Chester County.

Due to the variation in consequences for a first-time DUI offense, it is very important that a person facing DUI charges contacts a Chester County DUI lawyer immediately. DUI penalties in Chester County can negatively impact a person’s life in countless ways, but an experienced attorney can work to build a strong defense and minimize the penalties as much as possible.

BAC Levels

Like the rest of Pennsylvania, DUI penalties in Chester County are standardized across the board and are determined for a first-time offender based upon the amount of alcohol and/or tier of narcotics within that person’s system. If an individual has only alcohol in his or her system and his or her blood alcohol content is below 0.08, a DUI usually will not be charged unless that person is a juvenile.

However, a first tier DUI would be any reading between 0.08 and 0.10. If an individual has a blood alcohol content that falls within this range, he or she faces six months probation and a $500 fine with no license suspension for a first-time DUI offense.

A second tier DUI in Chester County is a blood alcohol content between 0.10 and 0.16. If an individual has a blood alcohol content that falls within this range, and it is his or her first offense, that individual faces a 48-hour jail sentence which can be served on the weekend, a license suspension which often varies, and/or safe driving school.

Lastly, a third tier DUI for a first offense is any reading above 0.16. Moreover, all drug DUIs are treated as third tier offenses, as are refusals to submit to a blood and/or breath test. A third tier DUI first offense generally carries penalties of 72 hours of imprisonment, a six-month license suspension, a six-month probationary period, and safe driving school, as well as any other conditions the court feels are necessary to prevent the individual from getting into the same kind of circumstances in the future.

Alternative Sentencing

In all types of first offense DUIs, however, certain diversionary programs are available. In a majority of cases, a first-time offender may be eligible for the first-time offenders ARD program, which, upon completion, allows the offender to limit his or her license suspension, remove the threat of incarceration, and limit the amount of probation.

Benefits of Working with a Lawyer

The benefits to working with a local lawyer are plentiful. First and foremost, a local attorney can understand and implement local practices that each individual district court follows in regards to preliminary hearings for first-time DUI offenders, and can combat the penalties a person is facing.

Additionally, a lawyer with local experience can contact the correct authorities—whether they be the police or District Attorney’s Office—and expedite the DUI charging and sentencing process.

An attorney can point the accused in the right direction when it comes to all available diversionary programs and all available treatment options. Chester County offers programs that are different from all other counties in Pennsylvania, so local knowledge and local experience are key factors in achieving a successful outcome.

For any individual who has been charged with a first offense DUI, the most important step is to seek out the services of an experienced attorney. This ensures that every option will be available to that person in defending his or her reputation and, ultimately, his or her DUI case.