In Pennsylvania, DUI law prohibits anyone from operating or driving a vehicle if:
- They have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher,
- They have any amount of a Schedule I or II controlled substance in their system, or
- They are impaired by drugs or alcohol to the degree that it affects their ability to safely operate the vehicle.
Typically, a driver will be considered to have violated the law if the chemical test conducted within two hours after the driving shows a BAC above the legal limit.
Depending on the circumstances, a DUI conviction will result in different consequences. For example, the consequences may differ if the driver has prior DUI convictions. A DUI is considered a first offense if the driver has no prior DUI convictions within the past ten years.
First DUI Penalties
Once a plea bargain has been met, or the defendant was found guilty after a trial, the consequences for a first DUI conviction will differ depending on the individual circumstances. However, possible penalties will include:
- DUI based on impairment or a BAC of at least .08% but less than .1%. This scenario, paired with a first DUI conviction, is a misdemeanor. With this conviction, the driver will typically have to pay about $300 in fines, complete a six-month probation term and up to six months in jail. They will also have to complete an alcohol safety class and may even be required to undergo substance abuse treatment.
- Impairment DUIs involving property damage, injuries, or death and DUIs based on a BAC of at least .1% but less than .16%. This first DUI conviction is considered a misdemeanor. The convicted driver can expect about $500 to $5,000 in fines, 48 hours to six months in jail, and a 12-month license suspension. Similar to the misdemeanor above, the driver will also be required to complete an alcohol safety class and may need to participate in substance abuse treatment.
- Impairment DUIs involving a refusal to submit to a breath test and a BAC of at least .16% or involving controlled substances. This first DUI conviction is considered a misdemeanor. If this was their first DUI conviction, the convicted driver could expect about $1,000 to $5,000 in fines, between 72 hours to six months in jail, and a 12-month license suspension. They will also have to complete an alcohol safety class, along with the possibility of completely substance abuse treatment.
- DUIs with a minor passenger. If a person gets caught with their first DUI charge and has a minor under 18 years old as a passenger, they will be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor. The offender will have to pay at least $1,000 in fines and 100 community service hours. They can also face up to five years in jail and have their license suspended for 18 months.
If you have been convicted for a first offense DUI, call Leonard J. Berger, Jr. today. With over 20 years of experience, Berger Legal can help you achieve the best possible outcome and fight to protect your rights. Serving the Pittsburgh, Washington, Greensburg, Butler, and surrounding Pennsylvania communities, call Attorney Berger at 412-498-1929 today.