Extreme DUI: Pennsylvania’s Strict Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Laws
When it comes to driving under the influence (DUI) in Pennsylvania, exceeding a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.10 percent is considered an extreme DUI, with 0.08 percent being the legal limit. A conviction for extreme DUI carries severe penalties that every driver should be aware of.
Pennsylvania law categorizes DUI offenses and their corresponding punishments based on the driver’s BAC at the time of the alleged incident. Let’s take a closer look at the different levels of DUI offenses:
- General Impairment: If your BAC reads between 0.08 and 0.09 percent, you may be charged with General Impairment DUI. Penalties for this offense include up to six months of jail time, fines up to $300, and mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle.
- High BAC: When your BAC ranges from 0.10 to 0.159 percent, you face more significant consequences. If convicted, you may be subject to imprisonment for two days up to six months, a 12-month license suspension, and fines ranging from $500 to $5,000.
- Highest BAC: A BAC of 0.16 percent or higher puts you at the highest level of DUI offense. Should you fall under this category, expect incarceration for 72 hours up to six months, a 12-month license suspension, and fines ranging from $1,000 to $5,000.
It’s important to note that extreme DUI offenders face even higher fines and longer jail sentences compared to those at the high and highest BAC levels. Additionally, if your drunk driving leads to an accident causing injuries, prepare yourself for even more severe penalties.
Sentencing Enhancements for Extreme DUI Convictions
In Pennsylvania, the majority of Driving Under the Influence charges are categorized as misdemeanors. Typically, offenders receive a two-year prison term; however, extreme DUI cases are subject to enhanced penalties based on prior offenses. These priors include preliminary disposition, conviction, acceptance of ARD (Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition), or juvenile consent decree. Refusal to take a breathalyzer or blood test can also lead to additional sentence enhancements.
During the sentencing phase of the hearing, the court carefully considers any previous DUI convictions within the past ten years. Punishments for refusing a blood or breath test can include jail time and fines. The prosecution must substantiate the refusal to establish the basis for enhanced penalties. Furthermore, a prior DUI raises the penalty category, resulting in more severe punishments.
In December 2018, Pennsylvania introduced stricter DUI laws, imposing harsher penalties for extreme and repeated DUI offenses. Any individual caught driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above 0.016 percent now faces a felony offense. Additionally, individuals facing their fourth, fifth, or subsequent DUI are charged with felonies. Furthermore, causing someone’s death due to drunk driving, with a previous DUI on record, can lead to a first-degree felony charge.
In cases where an individual kills another person while driving under the influence and with a license suspension or without a license altogether, an additional five years in prison may be imposed. Similarly, aggravated assault while driving without a license can result in an extra two-year prison sentence.
To ensure the best defense for your DUI case, it is crucial to share all relevant facts with your Beaver DUI attorney. They will meticulously explain your charges, outline the available options, and provide unwavering support throughout the criminal justice process.
If you or a loved one has been charged with Extreme Driving Under the Influence in or around Beaver, trust the assistance of our highly experienced Beaver criminal attorneys. The Logue Criminal Defense team proudly serves Beaver, as well as surrounding areas in West Virginia and Ohio. Take the first step towards a favorable outcome by scheduling a free initial consultation with a skilled Beaver criminal lawyer from Logue Law Group. Reach out today at 1-844-PITT-DUI or (412) 389-0805, or conveniently contact us online.
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