A Blood Alcohol Concentration of over 0.10 percent is considered to be an extreme DUI in Pennsylvania. The legal limit is 0.08 percent. A conviction for extreme DUI comes with severe penalties.
According to Pennsylvania law, the blood alcohol concentration of a person’s blood at the time of their alleged DUI is the guide to the classification of DUI offenses and punishments.
- General Impairment: A person will be charged with General Impairment DUI if his or her Blood Alcohol Concentration reading comes out to .08 to .09 percent; penalties include up to six months of jail time and as much as $300 in fines, as well as mandatory ignition interlock device installation on the person’s vehicle.
- High BAC: When a person’s Blood Alcohol Concentration is between .10 and .159 percent; costs to the offender include a prison sentence of two days to six months, a license suspension of 12 months, and fines between $500 to $5,000.
- Highest BAC: When a person’s Blood Alcohol Concentration is .016 percent or higher; punishments include incarceration from 72 hours to six months, a 12-month license suspension, and fines ranging from $1,000 to $5,000.
Drivers convicted of extreme DUI are looking at higher fines and longer jail sentences. If they have caused an accident while driving drunk, and that accident results in injuries, they’re on tap to receive even higher penalties.
Sentencing Enhancements for Extreme DUI Convictions
Most of the time, a Driving Under the Influence charge in Pennsylvania is considered a misdemeanor. A two-year prison term is the typical sentence an offender receives. For an extreme DUI, there are certain enhancements that may be added to a sentence, and these are based on two things: prior offenses—preliminary disposition, conviction, acceptance of ARD (Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition), or juvenile consent decree—and refusing to submit to a breathalyzer or blood test.
The court will consider any additional Driving Under the Influence convictions you’ve had in the last ten years when deciding upon your punishment. Possible sentence enhancements include jail time and fines for refusing a blood or breath test. The prosecutor must prove that you refused to take the blood or breath test in order to get the enhanced penalties, which are handed down at the sentencing part of the hearing. A previous DUI will raise your penalty category, making the punishments more severe.
In December of 2018, Pennsylvania amended its DUI laws to make the penalties for extreme DUI’s and repeat DUI’s more strict. Anyone caught driving with a BAC above 0.016 percent now faces a felony offense. People facing their fourth, fifth, or subsequent DUI are also facing felony charges. And, if you cause someone else’s death because you were driving drunk, and the DUI is not your first, you could be facing a first-degree felony charge.
For those who kill someone else while driving drunk and under a license suspension or without one altogether, an additional five years in prison is possible. For aggravated assault when driving without a license, there is an additional two-year prison sentence.
Remember that your Pittsburgh DUI attorney will need all the facts. Don’t hesitate to trust and confide in him, so he can work his hardest for you. He can then give you the details of your charges, and explain your options. He will remain beside you as you travel the criminal justice system.
If you or a loved one have been charged with Extreme Driving Under the Influence in or around the city of Pittsburgh, you will need an experienced criminal defense attorney. The Logue Criminal Defense team serves Pittsburgh, PA, and the surrounding areas, including West Virginia and Ohio. To get in touch and schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced Pittsburgh Criminal Defense lawyer from Logue Law Group, call us today at 1-844-PITT-DUI or (412) 389-0805. Or, you can contact us online.
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