In 2003, Pennsylvania changed their DUI laws to make them even more stringent. Act 24 created a tiered system for DUI penalties and combined with the state’s implied consent rules, the penalties are more severe than ever. Keep in mind, as a Pennsylvania driver, implied consent states that when you are stopped for a DUI you must consent to a Breathalyzer test. Unfortunately, these tests are notoriously inaccurate.
Philadelphia DUI attorney discusses the tiered penalty system
Under Pennsylvania’s Act 24, a tiered system of penalties was enacted for law enforcement officers to follow when they stop someone for suspected drunk driving. Even a first time offender is not given much leeway. The tiers and penalties are as follows:
- Blood alcohol .08 to .99 – General Impairment: First time offenders can face fines, up to six months of probation and treatment and a criminal record that shows “ungraded misdemeanor”. Subsequent guilty findings can result in jail time, higher fines and the need to have an ignition locking device installed. Drivers who have been charged with DUI more than twice could face upwards of 2 years in prison, lose their right to drive and pay fines up to $5,000
- Blood alcohol .10 to .159 – High BAC: When your BAC is considered “high”, you will typically face up to six months in prison and a fine up to $5,000. In most cases, you will also lose your driving rights for a minimum of 12 months for a first offense. Subsequent offenses can mean fines of up to $10,000 and up to five years in prison
- Blood alcohol .16 and over – Highest BAC: Blood alcohol levels that are considered the highest carry the largest penalties. Even a first time offender will be faced with jail time of up to six months and fines of up to $5,000. Second or subsequent convictions can mean losing your license for 18 months and fines of up to $10,000 plus a minimum of one year with an ignition locking device
The Law Office of John F. Rooney, V, explains defense of DUI
One of the problems with breathalyzer tests is their notoriously bad reputation for being inaccurate. The machines used for breathalyzers need to be properly calibrated and law enforcement officers need to know how to use them accurately. Attorney John F. Rooney knows how to argue with results and may be able to help you successfully fight your DUI charges.
I understand that a DUI charge can have long-lasting implications including inability to secure a job and sky-high insurance costs. Call me today if you are facing DUI charges, I’m John Rooney. I solve problems and I’m here to help you with your DUI charge.