While you may think it is ok to throw back a few with your friends and get behind the wheel, those actions could lead to serious consequences. As few as 3 drinks for women, and as few 4 drinks for men, are all it takes to get a blood alcohol content of a 0.08%.  That is your limit for being drunk behind the wheel in the state of Pennsylvania. See Alcohol Impairment Chart Here

I was stopped...what now?

Pennsylvania determines whether you are charged with a DUI by your blood alcohol levels at the time of your arrest. Pennsylvania is a state of implied consent, this means that if an officer has probably cause to believe that you are under the influence of alcohol and are driving a vehicle. They could note that you were swerving, speeding, you did not use a turn signal, or you ran a red light.  If they arrest you and then, you are required by law to take a blood, urine, or breath test to determine your BAC.

For the entire DUI court process, click here.

Consequences of a DUI

Mistakes can happen to good people. If you are facing charges for a DUI you need to know the possible consequences a conviction could have to your personal and professional life. Below are some guidelines I used, when I worked as a Prosecutor.

 

If your BAC was:

0.08% to less than 0.10%

  • Mandatory 6 months probation
  • Fine of up to $300.00
  • does not include court costs and additional fees

0.10% to less than 0.16%

  • Mandatory 6 months probation
  • Mandatory jail time of 48 hours, up to a max of 6 months
  • Mandatory minimum fine of $500.00 up to $5,000.00
  • (does not include court costs and additional fees)

 

0.16% or higher

  • Mandatory jail time of 72 hours, up to a max of 6 months
  • Mandatory minimum fine of $1,000.00
  • License suspension of 12 months
Should you fight a DUI charge?

The simple answer is yes.

Why? A DUI conviction can have serious and long-lasting consequences, including issues with employment, housing, and credit. Without legal representation, you could be charged to the maximum penalties in Pennsylvania.

A skilled Attorney is trained to look at the situation from all angles and challenge the prosecution as well as the office that stopped you. There are also guidelines that police officers have to follow during a controlled stop.

If possible, your attorney will attempt to have the case thrown out. If not, they will look at ways to reduce the severity of your sentence. Many first offenders, for example, may undertake a program such as Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD). Once you successfully complete a program, you may be able to avoid jail time and get a much shorter suspension of your driving license. When you complete the program, you can apply to have the charge expunged from your arrest record.

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David Wenger III, Attorney at law

 

 

T: Call us at 724-322-6138
E: David@attorneywenger.com