In Pennsylvania, a person arrested for an impaired driving offense may experience a range of penalties. Those penalties, however, may not be the same for every person as each offense is evaluated uniquely based on the specifics of the case. Some of these specifics include the driver’s blood alcohol content and whether or not the person has had any prior driving under the influence offenses.

BAC levels and DUI classification

As explained by the Pennsylvania legislative code, a person’s BAC as measured within two hours of them driving a vehicle may dictate how their DUI case may be classified. The most serious classification is for drivers with blood alcohol content levels measuring 0.16% or greater, twice the legal limit of 0.08%. This is called the highest rate of alcohol DUI. The least serious classification is for drivers with BACs below 0.10% but at least 0.08%, referred to as general impairment. A high rate of alcohol DUIs involve drivers with BACs of at least 0.10% but less than 0.16%.

Loss of driving privileges

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation explains that some drivers convicted of DUI offenses may lose the right to drive as part of their penalties. Even a first offense may result in a license suspension if the driver’s BAC was greater than 0.10%.

The use of an ignition interlock device may allow a driver to retain the right to drive during a DUI suspension period. The ability to drive may directly impact a person’s ability to keep their job and care for themselves and their family. Some drivers may even be required to use an IID.