When it comes to DUI offenses in Pennsylvania, the consequences can be severe. Understanding the different classifications and corresponding punishments is crucial for anyone facing these charges.
- General Impairment: If your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) falls between 0.08 and 0.09 percent, you could be charged with a General Impairment DUI. Along with fines up to $300 and mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device, you could face up to six months of jail time.
- High BAC: A BAC reading between 0.10 and 0.159 percent puts you in the High BAC category. Conviction in this range means you may spend anywhere from two days to six months behind bars, have your license suspended for 12 months, and pay fines ranging from $500 to $5,000.
- Highest BAC: Having a BAC of 0.16 percent or higher lands you in the Highest BAC category, carrying even more severe penalties. In addition to a potential jail sentence of 72 hours to six months and a 12-month license suspension, you could face fines between $1,000 and $5,000.
Extreme DUI convictions come with steeper fines and extended jail sentences. What’s more, if their drunk driving leads to accident-related injuries, the penalties become even more severe.
Sentencing Enhancements for Extrmee DUI Convictions
Pennsylvania treats most Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charges as misdemeanors, typically resulting in a two-year prison term. However, extreme DUI cases carry additional penalties based on prior offenses, such as 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 further sentence enhancements.
During the sentencing phase of the hearing, the court thoroughly considers any previous DUI convictions within the past ten years. Punishments for refusing a blood or breath test may include imprisonment and fines. The prosecution must prove the refusal to secure enhanced penalties. Moreover, having a prior DUI offense increases the penalty category, resulting in more severe punishments.
In December 2018, Pennsylvania enacted stricter DUI laws, imposing harsher penalties for extreme and repeated offenses. Driving with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) above 0.016 percent now constitutes a felony offense. Fourth, fifth, or subsequent DUI offenses are also classified as 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 a person causes a fatality while driving under the influence and with a license suspension or without a license altogether, an additional five-year prison sentence may be imposed. Aggravated assault while driving without a license can result in an extra two-year prison term.
It is crucial to share all the relevant information with your Washington PA DUI attorney to ensure the best possible defense. They will explain your charges, outline 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 Washington, seek the assistance of an experienced Washington PA criminal attorney promptly. The Logue Criminal Defense team serves Washington, PA, as well as surrounding areas in West Virginia and Ohio. To schedule a free initial consultation with a skilled Washington PA criminal lawyer from Logue Law Group, call us today at 1-844-PITT-DUI or (412) 389-0805. Alternatively, you can reach us online.
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