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Accidents caused by drunk and drugged drivers are a problem in Pennsylvania. According to the Pennsylvania Department Of Transportation, 9,380 alcohol-related accidents happened in the Commonwealth in 2019, resulting in the deaths of 299 people. Because of the dangers of drunk driving, the Commonwealth treats DUIs very seriously. If you are facing charges of drunk driving in Pennsylvania, you could lose your license, be sentenced to jail, or be forced to pay thousands of dollars in fines. These potential penalties should make finding a good DUI defense lawyer a priority. DiCindio Law is prepared to fight for your rights while defending you against DUI charges.

What Are The Penalties For A DUI In Chester County, Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania’s DUI laws were changed in 2004 to adopt the threshold blood alcohol concentration amount of 0.08%. Drunk driving penalties were also increased. The penalties differ based on your blood alcohol content at the time of your arrest and whether you have any prior DUI offenses. The state has a three-tiered system that judges follow when determining the penalties that you will face for a DUI conviction.

General Impairment DUI Penalties

A general impairment DUI is defined in 38 Pa. C.S. 3802(a) and can happen in one of two ways. You can be charged with a general impairment DUI if you drink enough alcohol to be impaired, or you can be charged when you have a BAC of 0.08% to 0.099%. You should note that if your BAC is less than 0.08%, you can still be charged and convicted of a DUI if the amount of alcohol that is in your system impaired your driving.

For a first-offense general impairment DUI, you can be sentenced to serve a minimum of 6 months of probation, be assessed a $300 fine, and be mandated to attend an alcohol highway safety school. In the judge’s discretion, you might also be ordered to attend alcohol treatment.

If you have a previous DUI conviction, you can face a sentence of five days up to 6 months of jail, have your license suspended for 12 months, be assessed a fine from $300 to $2,500, be mandated to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle for one year, be ordered to attend an alcohol highway safety program, and be ordered to attend alcohol treatment.

If you have two previous DUI offenses, the third conviction for a general impairment DUI can result in a prison sentence of 10 days up to two years, a 12-month suspension of your license, mandatory treatment, a fine from $500 to $5,000, and a one-year installation of an ignition interlock device.

If you have three prior DUI convictions, a fourth conviction is a third-degree felony under 38 Pa.C.S. § 3803. If you are convicted of a third-degree felony DUI, you will face from one to seven years in prison, a fine of up to $15,000, a license suspension of 18 months, and a mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle for one year.

High BAC DUI Penalties In Chester County, PA

If your BAC at the time of your arrest was 0.10% to 0.159%, you will be charged with a high BAC DUI under 38 Pa.C.S. § 3802(b). For a first conviction, you can have your driver’s license suspended for 12 months, be sentenced to serve from 48 hours up to six months in prison, be assessed a fine of $500 to $5,000, and be ordered to attend an alcohol highway safety school. The judge can also order you to attend alcohol treatment.

If you have a prior DUI conviction, your license may be suspended for 12 months. You can be ordered to spend from 30 days up to six months in prison, pay a fine from $750 up to $5,000, attend an alcohol highway safety school, attend alcohol treatment, and install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle for one year.

If you have two prior DUI convictions, you will have your license suspended for up to 18 months, be ordered to serve from 90 days up to five years in prison, pay a fine from $1,500 up to $10,000, install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle for one year, and you may be ordered to attend alcohol treatment.

A fourth conviction is a third-degree felony. You can be sentenced to serve from one to seven years in prison, have your license suspended for 18 months, face a fine of $1,500 to $10,000, be ordered to attend alcohol treatment, and be ordered to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle for one year.

Highest BAC DUI Penalties

You can be convicted of the highest BAC DUI in Pennsylvania if you have a BAC of 0.16% or higher, have any amount of drugs in your system, or refuse chemical testing. A conviction for the highest BAC DUI comes with the most severe DUI penalties.

For a first conviction, you will have your license suspended for 12 months and can be sentenced to serve from 72 hours up to six months in prison. You will also be fined from $1,000 up to $5,000 and might be ordered to attend an alcohol highway safety school and alcohol treatment.

A second DUI conviction for the highest BAC DUI can result in a one-year suspension of your license. You can also be ordered to spend from 90 days up to five years in prison and be fined from $1,500 up to $10,000. The judge might require you to attend an alcohol highway safety school and attend treatment. Finally, you will have to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle for one year.

If you have two prior DUI convictions, a third conviction for the highest BAC DUI will result in a prison sentence from one to seven years. Your license can be suspended for 18 months, and you may be ordered to pay a fine from $2,500 up to $15,000. The judge can order you to attend alcohol treatment, and you will be required to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle.

Why It Is Important To Hire An Experienced Chester County PA DUI Lawyer

The DUI laws in Pennsylvania undergo constant changes. When you work with an experienced Drunk Driving Defense Attorney, your attorney can advise you of the legal options that might be available to you.

Police officers sometimes arrest drivers who have BACs that are less than the legal limit or who have not been drinking. Even if you did have a BAC above the legal limit, there are still defenses that might be available to you. A good criminal defense lawyer at DiCindio Law might help you to get your charges reduced or avoid incarceration. Contact us today for a consultation by calling us at 610.430.3535.

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