DUI, DWI & Refusal Violations In PA

In Pennsylvania, the penalties associated with DUI/DWI convictions are contingent on your blood-alcohol level (“BAC”) within 2 hours of operating a motor vehicle, and the number of prior DUI/DWI convictions.

According to Pennsylvania DUI law, there are three “tiers” for BAC:

i) 0.08% – 0.099%
ii) 0.10% – 0.159%
iii) 0.16% and above

Please note that, if you are convicted of refusing to submit to a blood-alcohol test, the Commonwealth will automatically penalize you at the highest level (0.16% and higher).

DUI/DWI Penalties:

Regardless of your blood-alcohol reading, you will be required to complete a Alcohol Highway Safety course. And, if your reading is 0.16% or higher, you must also undergo Drug & Alcohol assessment/treatment.

1st Offense (No Prior DUI/DWI Convictions in the Last 10 Years):

i) BAC is 0.08% to 0.099%:
a) 6 month maximum probation and a $300.00 fine;
b) No loss of license or jail time.

ii) BAC is 0.10% to 0.159%:
a) Between 48 hours and 6 months imprisonment;
b) $500.00 to $5,000.00 fine; and
c) License suspension for 12 months.

Please note that an Occupational Limited License (“Work License”) under these circumstances.

iii) BAC is 0.16% or higher (or Refusal to Submit to a Blood or Breath Test):
a) Between 72 hours and 6 months imprisonment;
b) $1,000.00 to $5,000.00 fine; and
c) License suspension for 12 months.

Please note that a work license is available under these circumstances.

Second Offense:

i) BAC is 0.08% to 0.099%:
a) Between 5 days and 6 months imprisonment;
b) $300.00 to $2,500.00 fine;
c) License suspension for 12 months; and
d) Ignition Interlock Device [on vehicle] for 12 months.

ii) BAC is 0.10% to 0.159%:
a) Between 30 days and 6 months imprisonment;
b) $750.00 to $5,000.00 fine;
c) License suspension for 12 months; and
d) Ignition Interlock Device [on vehicle] for 12 months.

iii) BAC is 0.16% or higher (or a Refusal to Submit to a Blood or Breath Sample):
a) Between 90 days and 5 years imprisonment;
b) $1,500.00 to $10,000.00 fine;
c) License suspension for 12 months; and
d) Ignition Interlock Device [on vehicle] for 12 months.

Third Offense:

i) BAC is 0.08% to 0.099%:
a) Between 10 days and 2 years imprisonment;
b) $500.00 to $5,000.00 fine;
c) License suspension for 12 months; and
d) Ignition Interlock Device [on vehicle] for 12 months.

ii) BAC is 0.10% to 0.159%:
a) Between 90 days and 5 years imprisonment;
b) $1,500.00 to $10,000.00 fine;
c) License suspension for 18 months; and
d) Ignition Interlock Device [on vehicle] for 18 months.

iii) BAC is 0.16% or higher (or a Refusal to Submit to Blood or Breath Sample):
a) Between 1 – 5 years imprisonment;
b) $2,500.00 to $10,000.00 fine;
c) License suspension for 18 months; and
d) Ignition Interlock Device [on vehicle] for 12 months.

Fourth Offense
:

i) BAC is 0.08 to 0.099%:
a) Between 10 days and 2 years imprisonment;
b) $500.00 to $5,000.00 fine;
c) License suspension for 12 months; and
d) Ignition Interlock Device [on vehicle] for 12 months.

ii) BAC is 0.10% to 0.159%:
a) Between 1 – 5 years imprisonment;
b) $1,500.00 to $10,000.00 fine;
c) License suspension for 18 months; and
d) Ignition Interlock Device [on vehicle] for 12 months.

iii) BAC is 0.16% or higher (or a Refusal to Submit to Blood/Breath Sample):
a) Between 1 – 5 years;
b) $2,500.00 to $10,000.00 fine;
c) License suspension for 18 months; and
d) Ignition Interlock Device [on vehicle] for 12 months.

Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition:

This firm’s objective in each DUI/DWI matter is to obtain either a dismissal or “not guilty” verdict on behalf of our clients. Clearly, that is the best outcome under any circumstances. Second to that, however, the best option in Pennsylvania remains admittance into the ARD program, which was created as a diversionary program for those individuals being arrested for the first time.

If the Commonwealth admits you into ARD: (i) you will never get jail time; (ii) there will be no  DUI/DWI conviction on your record; and (iii) you will be subject to a minimal (30-60 day) license suspension, if any.

Your DUI arrest is automatically expunged if you successfully complete the ARD program. The program includes a short probationary period (normally 6 months to 1 year), a highway safety and driving class, and payment of fines and costs. The suspension of your driver’s license will vary  from 30-60 days depending on the result of your blood test. This is quite significant in light of the automatic 1-year license suspension normally resulting from a DUI/DWI conviction; and the additional 1-year suspension resulting from refusing to submit to a blood/breath test.

Even if you have a prior arrest (with no conviction) or a minor conviction, attorney Davis may still get you successfully admitted into the ARD through sheer hard work and determination. To be sure, though, it is absolutely necessary for you to have a valid driver’s license, automobile insurance, and current automobile registration to be a viable candidate for the ARD program.  And ARD is not typically available in DUI/DWI cases that arose from an arrest involving an automobile accident and third-party bodily injuries.

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