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What Are the Potential Consequences of a DUI Conviction?

Driving under the influence is a serious offense in Pennsylvania, so it is important that you understand what possible penalties you could face if you’re convicted.

The PA Department of Motor Vehicles lists the current legislation, laws, and rules that apply to those accused of a DUI. It breaks down the three levels of DUI, which include:

  1. General impairment, which includes a blood alcohol content of .08 to .099%.
  2. High BAC, which includes a BAC of .10 to .159%.
  3. Highest BAC, which refers to a BAC of .16% and higher.

Each of these categories has different penalties that you have to know about.

General Impairment

If you have no previous offenses, the general impairment penalties may include:

  • A misdemeanor charge.
  • Up to six months on probation.
  • Alcohol addiction treatment, if it’s necessitated.
  • Alcohol highway safety school.
  • A fine of $300.

The penalties increase with each additional offense.

High BAC

With a first offense in the High BAC category, you could face penalties including:

  • A misdemeanor charge.
  • A license suspension for 12 months.
  • Between 48 hours and six months in prison.
  • Fines between $500 and $5,000.
  • Alcohol addiction treatment if ordered.
  • Alcohol highway safety school when ordered.

Even with a first offense, you can see that a higher BAC tends to have harsher penalties.

Highest BAC

In cases where a person has the highest BAC, which is .16% or higher, the penalties for someone with no previous DUIs include:

  • A misdemeanor charge.
  • Between 72 hours and six months in prison.
  • Fines of between $1,000 and $5,000.
  • Alcohol addiction treatment if the judge orders it.
  • Alcohol highway safety school.

In each of these cases, these are the least penalties someone would face upon a first-time conviction. The penalties can increase with repeat convictions, so it’s important to face the charges and take steps to prevent a conviction from reaching your criminal record.

With the right approach, it could be possible to have the charges changed or eliminated completely, so you can protect your driving privileges and avoid harsh penalties. There are ways to defend yourself, but you need to act quickly.