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Penalties for 1st time drunk driving offenders in Pennsylvania

Drunk driving penalties in Pennsylvania are some of the harshest in the country. As a criminal defense lawyer in Pittsburgh, I’m asked what those penalties are and how someone who is convicted can be affected by them. It can be difficult to find this information, and even those who work within the criminal justice system can be unsure of the penalties associated with drunk driving charges because each case is different. As a result of this lack of public knowledge that should be commonly known, I have put together this two-part blog for potential clients and fellow Pennsylvanians who would like to familiarize themselves with drunk driving laws and consequences, especially after a busy 4th of July weekend. For your convenience, I have broken down each drunk driving charge. If you have questions about something in our article, or have any other drunk driving-related questions, contact The Law Offices of Gary E. Gerson for a free consultation. All of the following information about drunk driving charges is relevant within a ten year period. The first blog in this series will be about first-time DUI offenses and our next post will be about second, third, and fourth offenses. If you are arrested for drunk driving for the first time and there is no blood-alcohol content (BAC) evidence, but the police render you incapable of driving safely, there is no one under 14 in the vehicle, and no one is killed or injured, you will have to attend Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) classes. A first-time DUI with a BAC level of .08% – .10% is considered an ungraded misdemeanor and carries with it six months of probation, a $300 fine, attendance to Alcohol Highway Safety School (AHSS), and a full drug and alcohol assessment. A first-time DUI with a BAC level of .10% – .15% is an ungraded misdemeanor and carries with it jail time of at least forty-eight hours and up to six months, fines of up to $5000, AHSS attendance, twelve month suspension of your driver’s license, and a full drug and alcohol assessment. A first-time DUI with a BAC over .16% requires between seventy-two hours and six months of jail time, a $5000 fine, AHSS attendance, loss of driving privileges for one year, and a mandatory drug and alcohol assessment. We will complete our drunk driving penalties series in our next post. If you have any questions about what you’ve read here, or any other questions pertaining to drunk driving charges, please call Pittsburgh DUI lawyer Gary Gerson today at 412-219-6875 for a free consultation.

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