If you were arrested for a Pennsylvania DUI / DAI (Driving After Imbibing), an officer believed that you were operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drug(s). The law enforcement officer believed that your motor skills, mental faculties and reaction times were so impaired that you were unable to operate that motor vehicle safely. Driving with a blood alcohol content of .08% or greater is considered per se, or automatically, driving under the influence of alcohol. In Pennsylvania, a newly implemented classification of Driving After Imbibing was added after the state’s BAC limit was lowered from .10% to the national standard of .08%. Below we have outlined the most important information for you to inform yourself about Pennsylvania DUI / DAI.
Pennsylvania DUI / DAI Penalties
IMPORTANT: PENNSYLVANIA LAW STATES THAT YOU HAVE 10 DAYS FROM YOUR ARREST FOR YOUR ATTORNEY TO REQUEST A DRIVER’S LICENSE HEARING WITH THE PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION. You or your Pennsylvania DUI / DAI attorney must submit a letter requesting your administrative hearing within 10 days of being arrested, or your license will be automatically suspended.
The 3 Tiers of Pennsylvania DUI / DAI
Tier 1: BAC .08-.099% (General Impairment) – While there may be no mandatory jail time, you can expect 6 months of probation, and court fines in the hundreds of dollars. You will also incur the costs of being on probation.
Tier 2: BAC .10-.159% (High BAC) – Mandatory 2 days in jail with a maximum up to 6 months. Fines can reach all the way to $5000. Your license can be suspended for 1 year.
Tier 3: BAC .16 – higher (Highest BAC) – Mandatory 3 days in jail with a maximum up to 6 months. Fines can reach all the way to $5000. Your license can be suspended for 1 year, and you will be unable to request a hardship for school/employment during first 60 days. That means absolutely no driving, at all. See General Information below for how strict Pennsylvania is with driving on a suspended license.
Pennsylvania recently changed its “look-back” or “washout” period to ten years, meaning prior DUI convictions must be within ten years to be considered prior convictions.
Pennsylvania DUI / DAI Lawyers
A DUI arrest is not a DUI conviction. Pennsylvania DUI /DAI attorneys defend DUI/DAI offenses and drunk driving cases in Pennsylvania. A good Pennsylvania DUI attorney or criminal defense attorney will be able to assist you with the two separate cases. DUI attorneys will be able to offer you DUI defense strategies. They will be able to handle both the criminal DUI charges and the case with Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDot), regarding your license suspension or revocation.
General Information on Pennsylvania DUI /DAI
– Pennsylvania does not allow jury trials for “ungraded misdemeanors.” This means that you will not be able to take your first time Pennsylvania DUI / DAI case to trial. Pennsylvania courts will only allow a jury trial for Pennsylvania DUI/ DAI if it’s your second arrest within 10 years, and your BAC is .16% or higher. This unique way of prosecuting DUIs may or may not work in your favor. Consult with your Pennsylvania DUI /DAI attorney to help you navigate the legal system.
– DO NOT DRIVE ON A SUSPENDED LICENSE! If you’re caught operating your vehicle while under PennDot suspension, you will face A MANDATORY 60 DAYS IN JAIL, A $500 FINE, AND AN ADDITIONAL 1 YEAR SUSPENSION!