You can go to jail for between five days and five years for a DUI in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Charges for driving under the influence do not only apply to drinking and driving—they can also apply to the use of controlled substances behind the wheel. In addition to jail time, DUI offenses can carry penalties such as:
- Attendance of safety school
- The installation of an ignition interlock device (IID)
- License suspension
DUI Legislation in Pennsylvania
Per the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), there are three levels of DUI offenses, each with separate fines and penalties. Your blood alcohol content (BAC) and prior offenses will determine the penalties you face if you are convicted. The three DUI levels are as follows:
- General impairment: This is for BACs between .08% and.099%.
- High BAC: This applies to BACs between .10% and .159%.
- Highest BAC: This applies to BACs of .16% and higher.
Drivers involved in accidents that cause bodily injuries or property damage may be subject to higher BAC penalties, even if they had a lower BAC. This also applies to minors, commercial drivers, and school bus drivers. Offenders who refuse testing may also be subject to higher penalties.
Consequences for DUI Conviction
The charges and penalties you can face for DUI offenses based on your BAC are summarized below. Most include enrollment in an alcohol highway safety school. A judge may also order you to seek treatment. If you have prior offenses at any level, the use of an IID may be mandatory as well.
If this is your first DUI offense and you had a BAC between .08% and .099%, you can face up to six months of probation and a fine of $300.
For a second offense at this level, you can be charged with an ungraded misdemeanor. You may lose your license for 12 months, face jail time of between five days and six months, and receive a fine of between $300 and $2,500.
If you have two or more DUI offenses already, you can be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor. This charge brings many of the same penalties, though how long you go to jail increases to between 10 days and two years. Fines also increase to between $500 and $5,000.
With a BAC between .10% and .159% and no prior charges, you can receive an ungraded misdemeanor charge. Conviction may bring a license suspension of 12 months, between two days and six months in jail, and fines of between $500 and $5,000. The charges you can face for a second offense are similar, but you may also need to use an IID for one year.
If you have two or more DUI offenses at this level, you can be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor and face:
- License suspension for 18 months
- Between three months and five years in prison
- Fines of between $1,500 and $10,000
- The use of an IID for one year
For the first DUI offense at the highest level, you can be charged with an ungraded misdemeanor and face a one-year license suspension, jail time of between three days and six months, and fines of between $1,000 and $5,000.
For a second DUI offense, you can be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor and face 18 months without your license, jail time of between three months and five years, and fines of between $1,500 and $10,000. For any additional offenses, you can face these same penalties, except time in prison increases to a minimum of one year.
How Our Firm Can Assist You
Insurers, credit lenders, and other companies typically look at the last five years of your driving record when performing background checks, but a DUI conviction can stick with you for life. This is why it is so important to fight the charges you face if you were illegally stopped or have other grounds to challenge your DUI.
We can help you fight the DUI charges you face by looking for evidence to:
- Prove that you were not driving when you were arrested
- Argue that the arresting officer did not have grounds to stop you
- Discredit the evidence brought against you
- Prove that you were not or could not have been legally intoxicated when you were arrested
Our team has an understanding of how the law interprets intoxicated driving and what can invalidate evidence—such as long gaps between your arrest and any breath or chemical tests you performed. We can also determine what constitutes a fair judgment based on the specifics of your case.
Contact us for Legal Support Right Away
We help clients in Montgomery County, PA, and nearby areas handle drug and DUI cases. Our attorneys know how to build defenses against traffic crimes and navigate the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program.
We can help you understand your rights and fight the charges you face. To learn more, contact McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. today at (610) 991-7219. Contact us for a free case evaluation.