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Reviewing DUI Laws In Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, driving under the influence is a serious offense. The driver’s blood-alcohol content reading plays a role in how severe the charge is. Commercial and underage drivers are charged with a DUI with a lower BAC. An attorney helps the defendant fight to prevent a conviction for the DUI.

When is DUI Classified as a Felony?

Under most circumstances, the defendant isn’t charged with a felony until the fourth conviction. However, if the driver has a blood-alcohol content reading that is at least 0.16 percent, the state increases the third conviction to a felony.

The Penalties for DUI

The first conviction doesn’t require a minimum jail sentence. The fine is $300, and the driver must install an ignition interlocking device in their vehicle if they refuse chemical testing.

The 2nd conviction requires a minimum of 5 days in jail with a maximum of six months. The fine ranges between $300 and $2,500. The driver’s license is suspended for twelve months. The driver must install the ignition interlocking device throughout any restricted driving period. Some courts will offer restricted driving to allow the defendant to go to and from work.

The 3rd conviction requires a minimum of ten days in jail with a maximum of two years. The fine ranges between $500 to $5,000. The driver’s license is suspended for one year. The ignition interlocking device is installed during a new restricted period.

What is a Lookback Period?

The lookback period is ten years. This indicates that the state looks at the previous ten years to determine how many convictions the defendant has. If the defendant doesn’t have any convictions within the last ten years, the new charge is the first offense. However, the charge is increased if the driver had a blood-alcohol content reading over 0.16 percent.

In Pennsylvania, drivers who are arrested for a DUI face penalties according to the total number of previous convictions. First-time offenders have a chance of participating in rehabilitation to avoid a conviction and the associated penalties. However, the individual must qualify for the program. Defendants who want to learn more about fighting a conviction are encouraged to contact an attorney with trial experience and schedule an appointment right now.