DUI is a criminal offense in Pennsylvania. DUI conviction can lead to substantial penalties including imprisonment, hefty fines, license suspension, probation, among other severe repercussions. These consequences intensify if the charges include highest level of intoxication, is below the legal drinking age, DUI while transporting a minor, or involved in an accident. An experienced Pittsburgh criminal lawyer discusses the punishments for a DUI offense committed for the first time in Pennsylvania.Which Factors Can Determine DUI Sentencing?
A first time DUI conviction with a clean driving record and no criminal history can still lead to harsh sentencing. Penalties that are typically imposed in the case of a first time DUI offender can be determined by factors such as:
- Age of the Passengers in the Car Operated by the Driver
- Extent of Injury or Damage Caused
- Age of the Driver
- Level of Impairment of the Driver
- Position of the Driver with respect to Commercial Vehicles if applicable
Further, penalties intensify with multiple DUI offenses. Here, we will discuss first time offenses only. There are 3 possible categories of a DUI conviction based on the BAC content. Those being; 0.08% to 0.099%, 0.10% to 0.159% (including minors), and 0.16% or more (including drivers under the influence of drugs or the ones who refuse the breathalyzer test). Drivers with the lowest BAC under the general impairment category face the lightest sentences while the higher levels of BAC leads to far more severe penalties.Know Everything about the First DUI Penalties
The penalties for the first DUI vary according to your BAC level. Here, we have provided a detailed list of punishments you can be subjected to if found guilty for any of the 3 categories.
- Up to 6 months of probation sentence
- $300 amount of fine
Apart from this, you might be sent to an alcohol highway safety school and, if ordered by court, you will have to undergo treatment.
- 48 hours - Up to 6 months imprisonment
- $500- $5,000 amount of fine
- Suspension of license for 1 year
Along with this, you are likely to be sent to the alcohol highway safety school and undertake treatment if ordered by the court.
- 72 hours - Up to 6 months imprisonment
- $1,000- $5,000 amount of fine
- Suspension of license for 1 year
As with the first two categories, other penalties include visiting the alcohol highway safety school and getting treatment on being ordered by the court.
Further, DUI penalties can even increase given the following circumstances:
- Additional DUI charges
- Injury caused to others
- Damage caused to private or public property
- Presence of minor passengers in the vehicle
Apart from this, you should also know that operating a vehicle with a BAC level below 0.08% is also considered to be illegal, and can be subjected as a DUI offense in Pennsylvania, making you liable to an arrest. Here are certain situations which further validate the above-mentioned point.
- Minors are not allowed to drive with a BAC of or more than 0.02%
- Driving under the influence of intoxicated products are prohibited
- Drivers with a BAC of or more than 0.04% are not allowed to operate commercial vehicles
- For the safety of the vehicle and the passengers, an excessively impaired driver should never drive
A successful Pittsburgh DUI lawyer can mitigate the deadly DUI consequences against you in a quick span of time even if the allegations are quite serious. Or, at least, you will be able to decrease the type of penalties you are subjected to and successfully avoid imprisonment with the help of the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) and other such diversion programs if you have an experienced criminal defense attorney dealing with DUI cases by your side. Contact us for a free consultation if you require the expertise of such exceptional lawyers.