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Drivers may get Pennsylvania DUI and DWI charges for operating their motor vehicles under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. According to state DUI laws, drivers who commit a DUI or DWI may get harsh consequences listed their driving records. Penalties for a DUI in PA include a driver’s license suspension or revocation, high driving fines and prison time. The severity of the charges depends on the number of previous offenses committed while driving under the influence.

Drivers are encouraged to hire a PA DUI lawyer when facing charges of drunk driving. Find out what happens if you get DUI in Pennsylvania and how to minimize the penalties with the help of an experienced attorney by reading the sections that follow.

DUI Citations and Convictions in Pennsylvania

DUI charges in Pennsylvania may be added to a motorist’s driving record for driving after consuming alcohol and/or drugs. A DWI ticket will be issued to drivers who are pulled over by a police officer and are found to be driving intoxicated. A conviction may be considered either a felony or misdemeanor, making it a criminal offense due to the danger it poses to the safety of the driver and others.

Note: A DWI arrest in Pennsylvania may occur in situations when motorists are driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs and when they refuse to submit to a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test. As a penalty, drivers will have their driving privileges suspended immediately for a period of 1 year.

Pennsylvania Under the Influence Violations and Penalties

DUI consequences may vary depending on the motorist’s age, the level of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and the number of previously committed offenses. However, penalties are categorized according to the BAC level in the motorist’s body at the time of the violation.

First DUI Offense

A first DUI in Pennsylvania results in various penalties for driving intoxicated. Operating a vehicle with a BAC level between 0.08 an 0.099 percent will require a driver to pay a driving fine of $300 and he or she will be on probation for a period of 6 months. Committing a first DUI with a BAC level from 0.10 to 0.159 will result in a fine from $500 to $5,000, a 12-month driver’s license suspension and imprisonment for a period from 2 days to 6 months. Finally, drivers who commit a first DUI in PA with a BAC level greater than 0.16 percent are subject to a traffic fine from $1,000 to $5,000, a 12-month suspension period and jail time from 3 days up to 6 months.

Note: The 12-month license suspension for a first DUI will allow you to apply for an occupational limited license 60 days after the suspension period has passed.

Second DUI Offense

Committing a second DUI offense will result in charges that vary based on the BAC level of the motorist. Violations from drivers with a BAC level from 0.08 to 0.099 percent will suspend their driving privileges for 12 months, require payment of fines from $300 to $2,500 and a prison sentence period of up to 6 months. Drivers will get charged with DUI violations for showing BAC results from 0.10 to 0.159 percent with a driving fine from $750 to $5,000, a 12-month driver’s license suspension and jail time from 30 days to 6 months.

Moreover, the most severe consequences for a second DUI occur when the BAC level of a driver is greater than 0.16 percent. In these instances, PA DUI penalties include a driving fine of $1,500, a driver’s license suspension of 18 months and imprisonment for a period of between 90 days and 5 years.

Third DUI Offense

A third DUI in PA result in the harshest penalties for DUI on a motorist’s driving record for operating a vehicle while intoxicated. A third DUI offense with a BAC level between 0.08 and 0.099 percent will require a driver to pay a traffic fine of $500 to $5,000, spend from 10 days to 2 years in jail and face a driver’s license suspension of 12 months. A third DUI with a BAC level between 0.10 and 0.159 percent result in an 18-month driver’s license suspension, a fine from $1,500 to $10,000 and imprisonment from 90 days to 5 years. And finally, the Pennsylvania DUI consequences for having the highest BAC rate — more than 0.16 percent — will suspend the offender’s driving privileges for 18 months, give them a prison sentence of 1 to 5 years and require a driving fine of at least $2,500.

Underage DUI Offense

Committing a DUI while underage will require drivers to face certain penalties for showing a BAC level higher than the allowed 0.02 percentage for drivers younger than 21 years old. Drivers will be subject to the same consequences as those for a first, second and third offense as a result of operating a motor vehicle with a BAC level between 0.10 and 0.159 percent.

Drinking and Driving in Pennsylvania

Impaired driving in Pennsylvania ends in harsh consequences regardless of whether a driver has been driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Both intoxicants have similar effects on driving abilities and cause drivers to lose focus and endanger the lives of others. A criminal DUI violation occurs when drivers cause a fatality or bodily injury to another person. In such situations, drivers are encouraged to hire a PA DUI lawyer to help relieve them of a harsher punishment.

Pennsylvania DUI Attorneys

Drivers facing DUI charges are recommended to hire a DUI lawyer in order to minimize their penalties. A defense attorney for DUI cases is a legal representative who specializes in drunk driving law and citation regulations. To hire the best DUI lawyer in Pennsylvania, drivers are encouraged to conduct background checks on all potential representatives in order to choose the most appropriate for their specific situation.

Open Container Laws in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania DUI laws determine the regulations that drivers must obey while operating motor vehicles on public roads within the state. The Open Container Law prohibits drivers or occupants from possessing an open alcoholic beverage container or from consuming controlled substances while driving motor vehicles in the Commonwealth.

Reinstating a Suspended Drivers License in Pennsylvania

When reinstating a DUI suspended license in Pennsylvania, drivers must satisfy several requirements which may vary based on the severity of the committed offense. The restoration requirements consist of surrendering the license, completing the suspension period, paying the applicable fees, providing proof of financial responsibility and reapplying for a new driver’s license. A DUI drivers license suspension may also require drivers to satisfy additional court requirements, specific to their situation. For instance, drivers with DUI charges may be required to complete a traffic school program in order to reinstate their driving privileges.

Pennsylvania Alcohol Awareness Classes

One of the reinstatement requirements for a Pennsylvania DUI drivers license suspension may be to complete traffic school if ordered by the state court. First and second-time offenders who are charged with DUI in PA may be required by the court to complete an alcohol highway safety course and submit to a treatment in order to restore their credentials and to learn how to improve their driving practices.

SR-22 Insurance in Pennsylvania

When reinstating a DUI suspended license in Pennsylvania, drivers may be required to satisfy certain criteria. One of those requirements is to provide proof of financial responsibility which will certify that the high-risk driver is in compliance with state law. Offenders must request an SR-22 form from their car insurance company to submit to the DMV for license restoration. Failure to provide proof of insurance after DUI may result in further suspensions of a driver’s privileges.

Pennsylvania Laws That Pertain to DUI/DWI

Pennsylvania DUI laws determine the charges that each driver may face when operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. For instance, the Implied Consent Law requires drivers to submit to a BAC test when requested by a law enforcement official. Motorists may get charged with a DUI for refusing to submit to a BAC test and have their suspension periods lengthened.

DUI charges in PA may occur when drivers show greater BAC level than the allowed 0.08 percent for adult motorists or 0.02 percent for drivers younger than 21 years of age. These regulations are determined by the PA Zero Tolerance Laws.

Pennsylvania Hardship License

Drivers with DUI suspended licenses in Pennsylvania may be eligible to apply for a hardship license while waiting for the suspension period to be over. The Occupational Limited License (OLL) will enable drivers to drive to and from work, school and medical institutions. Moreover, while waiting for the DUI drivers license suspension period to be completed, drivers will be required to satisfy certain reinstatement requirements in order to apply for a hardship credential.

Last updated on Friday, September 21 2018.

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