If you are facing your first DUI charge in Pennsylvania, you should understand the potential consequences of a conviction.
First-time offenders generally face lighter punishments than people with multiple DUIs. However, a variety of factors can impact your case and sentence.
Pennsylvania DUI laws
If you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you cannot drive a motor vehicle in Pennsylvania. A blood alcohol concentration above .08% or the presence of controlled substances in your body can lead to a DUI arrest. Commercial drivers can receive a DUI charge for a blood alcohol concentration of .04% or higher. Additionally, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration above .02% if you are a minor under the age of 21. Consequences might be more severe if you had a .10% or higher blood alcohol concentration.
Sentences and penalties
For a first-time DUI, a conviction can result in six months of probation and a $300 fine. If you receive a high-rate DUI conviction, you could also face up to six months in jail, a suspended license and fines as high as $5000.
You can choose to attend a program for first-time offenders that results in the dismissal of your charge. This can have lasting benefits as you can avoid having a DUI on your record. To complete Pennsylvania’s Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program, you must undergo a limited license suspension and up to a year of court supervision as well as a road safety education program and substance use evaluations and treatment.
A DUI is a serious charge in Pennsylvania, even if you are a first-time offender. Nevertheless, you have options for protecting yourself from the consequences of a conviction.