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Montgomery County, PA DUI Lawyer

If you are pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving and a breath test shows your blood alcohol concentration is over the legal limit, you can be charged with a criminal offense. You can also be charged if police have reason to believe you were impaired by drugs, or a combination of drugs and alcohol. Even people who have had a small amount to drink or who have taken a prescription medication could find themselves charged with driving impaired. You do not have to accept these charges and admit guilt. In fact, there are many ways to defend yourself and try to avoid conviction. A Montgomery County DUI lawyer can help you to decide on the best way to respond to charges, and can represent you at every step until your DUI case has been closed.

Drunk Driving Laws in Montgomery County, PA

Laws on impaired driving are found in Pennsylvania Code Title 75 Chapter 38.  Within this Chapter, Pennsylvania Code Section 3802 prohibits you from:

  • Operating any vehicle, or being in control of any vehicle, if your blood alcohol concentration is .08 percent or greater.
  • Operating or being in control of a vehicle if you have a substance in your system that is classified as a Controlled Substance as defined by the Controlled Substance, Drug, Device, and Cosmetic Act.
  • Operating or being in control of a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of .02 or greater if you are under the age of 21.

There are different categories of impairment in PA, including general impairment, a high rate of alcohol and the highest rate of alcohol.  

  • General impairment means your BAC is .08 or above but less than .10 within two hours of being in control of your vehicle.
  • A high rate of alcohol is defined as having a BAC of .10 or greater but less than .16 within two hours after operating the vehicle.
  • The highest rate of alcohol is defined as having a BAC of .16 or higher within two hours of driving.

A drunk driving lawyer in Montgomery County can provide you with advice on what types of charges you are facing based on your BAC and on what conviction could mean for you.

Penalties for Drunk Driving in Montgomery County

Penalties for driving while impaired in Montgomery County will vary depending upon whether you have ever been convicted of a DUI before, and depending upon how much alcohol you had in your system.  Code Section 3804 defines the penalties you face for conviction. For example:

  • For a first offense for general impairment, you must be on probation for at least six months and pay a $300 fine. You are required to attend an approved alcohol highway safety school and comply with any recommended drug treatments.
  • For a second offense for general impairment, you will be jailed for at least five days, be fined between $300 and $2,500, be required to attend school, and must undergo required drug counseling.
  • For a third offense for general impairment, you will be jailed for at least 10 days, pay a fine of $500 to $5,000, and be required to comply with alcohol treatment requirements.

Harsher penalties are imposed for those with a high rate of alcohol, and the most severe penalties are reserved for people whose BAC levels exceed .16.  A Montgomery County DUI lawyer will help you to determine all possible consequences of the offense you’ve been charged with.

How a Montgomery County DUI Lawyer Can Help

DUI defendants may be able to avoid conviction in a number of ways. Sometimes, evidence of impairment is not admissible because it was collected illegally in violation of your Fourth Amendment rights. Sometimes, evidence was not handled properly, breath tests were not calibrated correctly, or your blood alcohol concentration rose between the time you were driving and the time of your testing. All of these situations could help you to avoid a guilty verdict.

A prosecutor has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you drove drunk, and a Montgomery County DUI lawyer can work hard to try to introduce doubt in court. If you do not want to go through a trial, your attorney could also help you try to negotiate a favorable plea bargain, enter into diversion programs, or get charges dismissed. To learn more about your options, contact an attorney today about your DUI case in Montgomery County, PA.