Driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) is a serious crime in Pennsylvania. If you are convicted of DUI, you could face significant penalties, including fines, jail time, and a suspended license.
The blood alcohol content (BAC) limit for DUI in Pennsylvania for drivers over 21 is 0.08%. This means that if your BAC is 0.08% or higher, you are legally impaired and can be arrested for DUI.
Even if your BAC is below the legal limit, you could still be arrested for DUI if the police officer believes that you are impaired by alcohol, marijuana or other controlled substances. Of course, impairment can be caused by other factors, such as fatigue, prescribed medication, or illness.
What is BAC?
BAC is the percentage of alcohol in your bloodstream. It is measured by a breathalyzer test or a blood test.
The higher your BAC, the more impaired you are. Even a small amount of alcohol can impair your judgment, coordination, and reaction time.
How does alcohol affect your driving?
Alcohol affects your driving in a number of ways, including:
- Impairing your judgment and decision-making skills
- Reducing your coordination and reaction time
- Narrowing your field of vision
- Making you drowsy and less alert
What are the penalties for DUI in Pennsylvania?
The penalties for DUI in Pennsylvania vary depending on the severity of the offense and your prior criminal record.
First-time offenders typically face the following penalties:
- A fine of $300 to $5,000
- A license suspension of up to six months
- Up to six months in jail
Second-time offenders face harsher penalties, including:
- A fine of up to $10,000
- A license suspension of up to 18 months.
- Up to one year in jail
Third-time offenders face even harsher penalties, including:
- A fine of up to $15,000
- A license suspension of up to 18 months
- Up to five years in jail
What can I do if I am arrested for DUI?
If you are arrested for DUI, it is important to contact an experienced DUI attorney immediately. An attorney can help you understand your rights and defend you in court.
Here are some tips for what to do if you are arrested for DUI:
- Do not resist arrest
- Be polite and respectful to the police officer
- Do not admit to drinking alcohol or driving impaired
- Contact an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible
How to avoid a DUI
The best way to avoid a DUI is to not drink and drive. However, if you do choose to drink, there are some things you can do to reduce your risk of getting arrested for DUI:
- Plan ahead and arrange for a sober ride home
- Drink in moderation
- Eat food while you drink
- Be aware of your BAC level
- Pull over if you feel impaired
Driving under the influence is a serious crime with potentially serious consequences. If you are arrested for DUI, it is important to contact an experienced DUI attorney immediately.
Here are some additional tips for staying safe on the road:
- Never drink and drive.
- Always wear your seatbelt.
- Obey the speed limit and other traffic laws.
- Be aware of your surroundings and other drivers on the road.
- Avoid driving when you are tired or distracted.
By following these tips, you can help to keep yourself and others safe on the road.