Are There Harsher Penalties for High BAC DUIs in Pennsylvania?

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high bac dui pennsylvania

When Commonwealth legislators signed Act 24, which lowered Pennsylvania’s legal limit of alcohol from 0.10 to 0.08 percent, into law on September 30, 2003, the new Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Law created a tiered approach toward DUI enforcement and treatment as well as many changes to the penalties, terms of suspension, fines and other requirements. The combination of an individual’s blood alcohol content level and prior offenses determines the licensing requirements and penalties. While the new law focused on treatment for first-time DUI offenders, rather than strictly punishment and suspension, it did not eliminate either. For more information on how much harsher high BAC DUIs are than “standard DUIs” in Pennsylvania, please read on, then contact an experienced Pittsburgh high BAC DUI lawyer today.

What constitutes high and highest BAC DUIs in Pennsylvania?

Having a blood alcohol content between 0.08 and 0.099 percent will net you a charge of Tier 1 General Impairment DUI. To be sure, the penalties for conviction are quite harsh. However, having a blood alcohol content of 0.10 percent or greater will further compound your legal difficulties. The Keystone State defines two additional tiers:

  • Tier 2 High BAC DUI: You must have been arrested with a blood alcohol content that exceeds 0.10 percent but is less than 0.16 percent.
  • Tier 3 Highest BAC DUI: You must have been arrested with a blood alcohol content of 0.16 percent or higher.

What are the penalties for High and Highest BAC DUIs in Pennsylvania?

Even for a first offense, a conviction for either can be more damaging to your prospects for employment, ability to live in certain geographical areas, eligibility for government benefits and much more. The immediate penalties for sustaining a conviction for both are as follows:

High BAC DUI:

  • A period of incarceration between forty-eight hours and six months
  • Mandatory participation in and completion of alcohol highway safety school
  • A twelve-month license suspension
  • Potential for court-ordered treatment
  • Installation of the Ignition Interlock Device in your vehicle for one year
  • A fine between $500 and $5,000

Highest BAC DUI:

  • A period of incarceration between seventy-two hours and six months
  • Mandatory participation in and completion of alcohol highway safety school
  • A full Drugs and Alcohol (D&A) Assessment
  • A twelve-month license suspension
  • Potential court-ordered treatment
  • Installation of the Ignition Interlock Device in your vehicle for one year
  • A fine between $1,000 and $5,000

What should you do if you face charges for a High or Highest BAC DUI in Pennsylvania?

Without a doubt, your first call after being arrested should be to a highly qualified Allegheny County DUI lawyer who has decades of experience as both a prosecutor and defense attorney. Together, you can discuss your case, collect any mitigating or exculpatory evidence and wage a vigorous defense in court.

Contact Our Pittsburgh DUI Lawyer

If you are facing a DUI charge, contact The Law Offices of George Heym to schedule your free initial consultation.

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