It is illegal to drive a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana, alcohol, other drugs, or a combination of these substances. If you have been charged with DUI, it is important to consult with an experienced Pennsylvania DUI lawyer to avoid losing your license, pay higher insurance rates, and avoid jail if you have a previous DUI conviction. Here is information on other criminal charges in Pennsylvania.
A blood alcohol content level (BAC) of 0.08 percent (0.02 percent for a minor) is the legal limit and any tests that determine these amounts will justify a DUI charge. But even lower levels, coupled with other evidence, are enough to get you arrested for DUI in Pennsylvania.
Penalties vary depending on whether you have a previous conviction on your record. The judge may order you to participate in a drug or alcohol abuse treatment program, a “victim impact panel” (awareness program mostly for youthful DUI offenders), and community service. Penalties for DUI are as follows:
If you are convicted of other charges stemming from your DUI, additional fines and prison time are added to the above penalties.
There are three types of tests that are administered to those suspected of DUI.
Pennsylvania law calls for immediate driver’s license suspensions based on the number of prior offenses, the level of legal of impairment based on your BAC, and if you may have been under the influence of any controlled substance (or a combination of controlled substances and alcohol) among other factors.
If you refuse this test it will not be administered. But, the arresting officer notifies the Pennsylvania Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) which then leads to a suspension of your driver’s license for up to one year. You have a 30 day grace period in which you must appear at a DOT administrative license suspension hearing.
There are several ways to have your driving privileges restored at least until your DUI hearing. But it’s best that you contact a Pennsylvania DUI lawyer for the best advice.
Once the facts of your case are made clear to your attorney, we may be able to suggest appropriate defenses for your DUI arrest. We may also obtain mitigating factors to reduce your charge or even have it dismissed. A few common examples that could serve as effective defenses include:
It should also be noted that breath testing devices require consistent maintenance and calibration. Without this, they often give faulty readings. There is also the possibility of human error on the part of the police officer administering the test. And if blood has been drawn, this test may be open to interpretation when samples are re-tested by an experienced Pennsylvania DUI lawyer’s independent laboratory.