What BAC Does a Driver Need to Be Charged With a DUI in PA?

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Few things are worse than being charged with a DUI. Unfortunately, many people face these charges every single day here in the state of Pennsylvania. There are various ways in which a person can be charged with a DUI; in some cases, these offenses don’t even involve alcohol; they involve drugs. However, the majority of these cases do involve alcohol. That said, you may wonder what level of alcohol is “acceptable” to be in a person’s body while they are behind the wheel, and what level may constitute a DUI charge. Please continue reading and reach out to a dedicated Allegheny County DUI lawyer from the Law Offices of George Heym to learn more about what BAC (blood alcohol content) level you need to be charged with a DUI and how our firm can help if you are currently facing these charges. Here are some of the questions you may have:

What BAC warrants a DUI charge in Pennsylvania?

In the state of Pennsylvania, most motorists will need to have a BAC of .08% or higher to receive a DUI. That said, there are some exceptions. To start, if you have a CDL and are operating a commercial vehicle, you will only need a BAC of .04% to be charged with a DUI in Pennsylvania. Additionally, Pennsylvania has a “zero-tolerance” policy for underage motorists, meaning if you are under the age of 21, all you need is a BAC of only .02% to be charged with a DUI.

Finally, it is worth noting that although anyone with a BAC of .08% or higher will be charged with a DUI, if law enforcement has probable cause to pull you over (e.g. you were swerving or otherwise appeared to have your ability impaired by drugs or alcohol) and you are found to have a lower level of alcohol in your system (such as .05%) you may still receive a DUI charge.

What happens if my BAC is even higher than .099%?

Anyone found to have a BAC between .08% and .099% will receive a “standard” DUI charge. However, in Pennsylvania, if you are found to have a BAC between .10% and .159%, you will receive a high BAC DUI, which comes with even harsher penalties. Additionally, if you are found to have a BAC of .16% and higher, the severity of the penalties you’ll face will only increase. These penalties include jail time, high fines, a driver’s license suspension, and more.

Don’t make the mistake of facing any DUI charge without a competent attorney in your corner. If you’re charged with a DUI of any kind, the Law Offices of George Heym is here to defend you. Contact us today so we can get started working on your case.

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