A Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) exceeding 0.10 percent is considered an extreme DUI in Pennsylvania, with 0.08 percent being the legal limit. Convictions for extreme DUI carry severe penalties.
According to Pennsylvania law, the classification of DUI offenses and the corresponding punishments are determined by a person’s BAC at the time of the alleged DUI.
- General Impairment: A BAC reading between 0.08 and 0.09 percent results in a General Impairment DUI charge. Penalties include up to six months of jail time, fines up to $300, and mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device on the offender’s vehicle.
- High BAC: When a person’s BAC is between 0.10 and 0.159 percent, they face imprisonment for two days to six months, a 12-month license suspension, and fines ranging from $500 to $5,000.
- Highest BAC: If a person’s BAC is 0.16 percent or higher, they are subject to incarceration from 72 hours to six months, a 12-month license suspension, and fines between $1,000 and $5,000.
Drivers convicted of extreme DUI face even higher fines and longer jail sentences. Furthermore, if their drunk driving results in injuries from an accident, they can expect even more severe penalties.
Sentencing Enhancements for Extreme DUI Convictions
Pennsylvania considers most Driving Under the Influence charges as misdemeanors. Offenders usually receive a two-year prison term, but an extreme DUI may lead to enhanced penalties. These enhancements depend on prior offenses, such as preliminary disposition, conviction, acceptance of ARD (Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition), or juvenile consent decree. Refusing a breathalyzer or blood test can also result in additional sentence enhancements.
During the sentencing part of the hearing, the court takes into account any previous DUI convictions within the last ten years. Punishments for refusing a blood or breath test may include jail time and fines. The prosecutor must prove the refusal to obtain enhanced penalties. Moreover, having a previous DUI raises the penalty category, leading to more severe punishments.
In December of 2018, Pennsylvania tightened its DUI laws, imposing stricter penalties for extreme and repeat DUIs. Any individual caught driving with a BAC above 0.016 percent faces a felony offense. Those facing their fourth, fifth, or subsequent DUI are also charged with felonies. Additionally, causing someone else’s death due to drunk driving, with a previous DUI on record, can result in a first-degree felony charge.
If someone kills another person while driving drunk and under a license suspension or without a license altogether, an additional five years in prison could be added. Aggravated assault while driving without a license may lead to an extra two-year prison sentence.
Remember, it is crucial to share all the facts with your Washington PA DUI attorney so they can provide the best defense for you. They will explain your charges, outline your options, and support you throughout the criminal justice process.
If you or a loved one have been charged with Extreme Driving Under the Influence in or around Washington, seek the assistance of an experienced Washington PA criminal attorney. 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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