The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and numerous other entities analyze accident statistics in Pennsylvania and throughout the country. Information and data compiled from such analyses help researchers and safety experts develop recommendations for travelers to improve safety and reduce their risk for collision. The legal blood alcohol content (BAC) level for operating a motor vehicle is .08, but this BAC increases your risk for collision 11 times over.
This means that you’re 11 times more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle collision when your BAC is .08 than you would be if you had not consumed alcohol before getting behind the wheel. You might think that having just one more beer or glass of wine won’t affect your driving skills much. However, one drink might be enough to raise your BAC to a level where you’re at great risk for injuries. If you drive with a BAC of .08 or higher, a DUI arrest might occur.
A BAC of .02 can cause vision impairment
While it’s legal to drive a car if your BAC is under .08, studies show that vision or cognitive impairment can occur with much less alcohol in your bloodstream. At .02, your vision might become blurred. At .04, your driving skills may greatly deplete.
If you have a commercial driver’s license (CDL), then you may not legally operate a commercial vehicle in Pennsylvania if your BAC is .04 or higher. At this level, your depth perception, coordination skills and other cognitive abilities might not be functioning at their optimum levels.
Facing DUI charges in Pennsylvania carries stiff penalties under conviction
If a Pennsylvania police officer pulls you over and determines probable cause to arrest you for DUI, there’s a lot at stake, including, perhaps, your freedom. Especially if it is not your first offense, a conviction might result in a jail sentence up to six months or more. You might also receive hefty fines and, in some cases, lose your job.
The best way to avoid DUI in Pennsylvania or anywhere, of course, is to abstain from alcohol before driving or arrange for safe (and legal) transportation if you plan to imbibe. Things happen, though, and if you get pulled over and are facing charges for DUI, it’s best to secure experienced legal support right away because that increases your chances of obtaining a positive outcome in court.