We Can Answer Your Questions About Pennsylvania DUI
Thousands of Pennsylvanians are arrested every year for driving under the influence. Many of those people do not know their rights or do not fully understand the consequences.
Our experienced DUI defense lawyers address some of the frequently asked questions about driving under the influence so that you are better informed when going to court or hiring a lawyer. To discuss your specific situation, we provide a free consultation at 866-239-4562.
What are the penalties for DUI in Pennsylvania?
The punishment depends on many factors, including the level of intoxication and any prior offenses:
- A first offense of DUI with a blood alcohol content of .08 carries a fine, probation, highway safety school and treatment if ordered.
- However, if your BAC is .10 or greater, that first-time DUI carries minimum jail or prison time, a much bigger fine and license suspension for 12 months.
- A DUI arrest with prior offenses increases the penalties AND requires an ignition interlock device installed on your car before you can drive again.
What happens if I refuse the DUI breath test?
If you are arrested and refuse to submit to the official breath or chemical test, you will forfeit your driver’s license for 12 months or more. You can still be convicted of DUI, too, if the prosecution has other evidence of impaired driving.
Can I fight a DUI if I admitted to drinking or if I tested over the limit?
Yes. For starters, did the officer have probable cause for the traffic stop? They can’t just pull people over because they might be under the influence. A lawyer can also challenge the field sobriety tests or another basis for arrest. We can even challenge the breathalyzer test results. There is a dramatic difference in the penalties between a BAC of .099 and a reading that is one tick higher at .10, or between a BAC of .159 and a reading of .16 that triggers the maximum penalties.
Can I do anything to get my driving privileges back?
We understand that losing your license is a hardship. Our lawyers can represent you in the PennDOT administrative hearing to fight the suspension. If your license is suspended, there are options. First-time offenders may be eligible for an occupational limited license (OLL) after 60 days of suspension, to drive to work or school. Repeat offenders are eligible to drive after installing an ignition interlock device.
Are the DUI penalties different for underage drivers?
Yes and no. Drivers under the legal drinking age of 21 are subject to the zero tolerance law. If they have any alcohol in their system, they are subject to license suspension for 12 months or more, plus fines and possible jail time. If the underage driver’s BAC is over the legal limit (.08 or greater), they are subject to the same DUI penalties as any adult.
Can I avoid a DUI conviction through the ARD program?
Some first-time offenders are eligible for Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD). You plead guilty but avoid jail and keep the DUI conviction off your record if you meet the court’s strict requirements. Violating the terms of ARD can void the deal and impose the original DUI penalties. Sometimes ARD makes sense. In other situations, it is better to fight the DUI.
Get Solid Answers And Strong Representation
If you or a family member is facing DUI charges in northeast Pennsylvania, our experienced DUI attorneys provide the focused knowledge and personalized solutions you need. We can answer all your questions in a free initial consultation. Call our Stroudsburg law offices at 570-664-7137 or contact us online.
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