First-time DUI Consequences
There are several factors that determine the consequences and penalties for a first-time DUI arrest; things like the amount of alcohol in the person’s system (his Blood Alcohol Concentration, also called his BAC) and the presence of drugs—either prescription medications or illegal narcotics—in his blood. There are three tiers of DUI offenses in Pennsylvania, which is what makes this so important. The penalties and fines assigned to a person convicted of DUI depend upon which tier his or her first-time DUI offense falls in—Tier 1, Tier 2, or Tier 3. If he or she is arrested with a BAC of 0.16 percent or above, the case would be a Tier 3, the highest tier. A Blood Alcohol Concentration of 0.16 percent is twice the legal limit in Pennsylvania. Additional factors that make a DUI a Tier 3 are refusing to submit to a blood, breath, or urine test, and having illegal narcotics or prescription medications in the system. Another term for Tier 3 is Highest DUI.
If a person’s DUI is in the highest tier, their fine would be a fine of anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000 and a jail sentence of anywhere from three days to six months. Depending on the county in which the offense occurred, community service could be required. Also, the person would have to submit to a CRN, which is the term for an alcohol evaluation interview and safe driving classes. Additionally, the person’s driver’s license would be suspended for a period of one year.
If a person’s first-time DUI involves a BAC of between 0.10 and 0.159, it would be classified as a Tier 2 DUI. A Tier 2 DUI is also called a High DUI. Penalties for a High DUI include a jail sentence of between two days and six months, and a one-year suspension of the person’s driver’s license.
The driver’s license aspect of a Tier 2 or Tier 3 DUI is the reason it’s so important for a person accused of Driving Under the Influence to hire an experienced and aggressive DUI lawyer. A good Pittsburgh DUI attorney can get him or her into the First Offender Program, which will shorten the driver’s license suspension. It’s possible for the attorney to get you out of a suspension altogether. It depends upon the facts of the case.
A Tier 1 DUI is also referred to as a General Impairment DUI and is what a person’s charge is when their BAC is between 0.08 percent and 0.999 percent. This is the lowest tier of DUI offenses, and comes with no jail time and no license suspension for a first-time offender.
Have you or a loved one been stopped while driving and arrested for DUI for the first time? If so, you will need the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney, one who is well-versed in DUI law and defenses. The Logue Criminal Defense team has served hundreds of DUI clients. Logue Law serves the Pittsburgh, PA, area, as well as West Virginia and Ohio. Call today for a free initial consultation. 1-844-PITT-DUI or (412) 389-0805, or contact us online.