Driving under the influence (DUI) charges in Pennsylvania come with a surprising variety of different consequences. Your previous driving history, the amount of alcohol in your bloodstream and the consequences of the alleged impaired driving infraction can all influence exactly what charges and penalties you face.
Some of the most common penalties include jail time, alcohol safety school, community service, fines and license suspension. Although avoiding imprisonment is important, retaining your license is also crucial for your ability to keep your job and provide for your family.
Will you automatically lose your driving privileges after a DUI arrest in Pennsylvania?
Not all DUI offenses will cost you your license
Although some states do impose license suspension for any impaired driving offense, Pennsylvania is more lenient in some scenarios. First-time offenders accused of a DUI infraction that did not lead to injury to others and that involved a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of less than 0.10% don’t have to worry about using their driving privileges.
However, somebody with a higher BAC could lose their license even if they have never gotten arrested for an impaired driving offense before. A first-time DUI involving a BAC of between 0.10 and .0159% could cost someone their license for a year.
Those with prior DUI charges will likely have to serve a period of suspension, which could be as long as five years in some cases. In fact, repeat offenders may also need to install ignition interlock devices (IIDs) in their vehicles before the state will reinstate their driving privileges.
Avoiding a conviction can protect your license
Losing your license can be a major hardship, as it can create expenses for your family and even put your employment at risk. Your best chances of avoiding licensing penalties over a Pennsylvania DUI charge come from successfully fighting the charges against you.
Those who plead not guilty and convince the courts that there is a reasonable doubt as to whether they were under the influence or not can avoid a conviction and the licensing penalties it carries. Making sense of the unique rules for DUI convictions in Pennsylvania will help those who recently got arrested due to an alleged DUI offense.