The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania takes drunk driving seriously and aggressively punishes those convicted of committing this crime. Drivers found to be Driving Under the Influence (DUI) can expect large fines, possible time in jail and lengthy driver's license suspension terms, among other consequences.
Avoid A Pennsylvania DUI Charge
The best way to avoid these penalties is to simply not engage in drunk driving. But if you find yourself facing a DUI charge, it's vital that you quickly familiarize yourself with Pennsylvania's DUI laws and that you find representation from someone who has experience within the field.
Here's what you need to know about the basics of Pennsylvania DUI law:
Like all other states, Pennsylvania adheres to the Implied Consent Law, meaning that by simply choosing to operate a vehicle, drivers automatically consent to a chemical test to check their level of intoxication. While many drivers think that by refusing the test they are withholding evidence that could be used against them, they are actually subjecting themselves to harsher punishments.
The Tier System
When convicting drunk drivers, Pennsylvania uses a tier system that uses a driver's blood alcohol content (BAC) to determine their level of punishment. The three tiers are General Impairment, High Impairment and Highest Impairment. The higher the BAC, the greater the punishments.
Pennsylvania dictates that anyone who causes injury to another person while driving under the influence can be charged with a felony, which greatly increases the punishments as well as the effects and complications the charge will have on the rest of your life.
DUI does not just refer to alcohol. If a driver operates a vehicle with an intoxicating substance in their system (whether illegal or legal), they can face equal penalties as those charged with DUI for alcohol.
Driver's License Suspension
In almost all cases, those convicted of DUI will have their driver's license suspended for a period of time. This penalty can have serious repercussions on an individual's life and ability to obtain gainful employment. However, Pennsylvania does allow some drivers to apply for a Occupational Limited License (OLL), which can lessen the effects it will have on your personal and professional life.