A judge presiding over a Pennsylvania driving under the influence (DUI) case has the discretion to assign numerous different penalties. They can order alcohol highway safety school, require that the defendant pay a fine, mandate alcohol treatments and even send someone to jail.
Judges also have the authority to strip someone of their Pennsylvania driver’s license for possibly more than a year. How long do you have to worry about losing your driver’s license after a DUI charge in Pennsylvania?
Two factors influence the length of the suspension
When you are at risk of losing your driver’s license for a DUI charge in Pennsylvania, two specific elements from your case will determine how long you could lose your license. Your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at the time of your arrest and the number of previous offenses on your record will affect how long you might lose your driver’s license.
Someone over the legal limit but not significantly over the limit with no prior offenses may not have any licensing penalties at all. Someone with a similar BAC who has prior DUI charges will likely lose their license for a year.
Someone with a higher BAC of between 0.10% and 0.159% will face more serious penalties. A first or second offense with a high BAC will lead to a 12-month suspension. Someone with two or more prior charges will lose their license for 18 months. Only a first charge carries a 12-month suspension when someone has a BAC of 0.16% or higher. Second and subsequent charges will result in losing your license for 18 months.
Losing your license can be expensive
When you can’t reliably get to work on time, you could lose your job. If you take the necessary steps to remain reliable, you may spend hundreds or thousands of dollars a month on taxi or rideshare services. Losing your license can be a major inconvenience for the people closest to you, ranging from your partner at work to your spouse and children.
If you successfully defend against pending DUI charges, then you won’t have to worry about the frustration or expense involved in a lengthy suspension. Understanding the penalties for DUI charges, like the suspension of their driver’s license, can help defendants make better choices.