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You Could Go to Jail for a First-Time DUI in Pennsylvania

A drunk driving conviction can have far-reaching consequences on various aspects of one’s life. Your career and quality of life could be negatively affected if you are found guilty of driving under the influence (DUI).

There is a real possibility of ending up in prison, even if it is your first time being charged with drunk driving. It all depends on the circumstances of your DUI case, as discussed below.

There are three levels of DUI in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania laws categorize DUIs according to the driver’s blood-alcohol content (BAC) levels.

  • General impairment with BAC levels of 0.08% to 0.99%
  • High BAC ranging from 0.10% to 0.159%
  • Highest BAC with levels over 0.16% or DUI involving controlled substances

Each of the three levels attracts different legal penalties. Generally, the more your BAC levels, the stiffer your sentence will be, even for a first-timer.

For instance, if your BAC levels fall within the first category of general impairment, you may end up with six months of probation, among other penalties. However, for the second and third categories, you could serve a jail term ranging from 48 hours to six months (depending on your BAC levels) alongside other legal sanctions. Certain aggravating factors may also enhance these penalties.

Have you been charged with a DUI?

Avoiding a conviction is in your best interests if you face drunk driving charges. Remember, if you are convicted for your first DUI, it will set you up for stiffer penalties should you ever be charged with drunk driving again, notwithstanding your BAC levels.

Therefore, it is crucial to have a sound defense plan that will reduce the chances of a guilty verdict and save you the terrifying prospect of spending time behind bars.