Everyone knows that it is illegal to drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. However, motorists who are over the age of 21 technically need to have a blood alcohol content of .08% to be charged with a DUI, meaning if they are found to have a BAC of .02%, for example, and their driving was not otherwise impaired by the relatively low amount of alcohol in their system, they most likely will not be charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol. That said, what if someone is under the age of 21? In this case, they likely will be subject to Pennsylvania’s “zero-tolerance” policy. Please continue reading and reach out to a seasoned Pittsburgh under-21 DUI lawyer from the Law Offices of George Heym to learn more.
What does Pennsylvania’s “zero-tolerance” DUI policy mean?
Simply put, Pennsylvania’s “zero-tolerance” policy is designed to deter underage drivers from getting behind the wheel with any amount of alcohol in their system. So, if a motorist who is under the age of 21 is caught driving with a blood alcohol content of just .02% or higher, they will be charged with a DUI under Pennsylvania’s “zero-tolerance” policy.
What are the penalties for an underage DUI in Pennsylvania?
For a first-offense underage DUI in the state of Pennsylvania, you can expect to face a wide range of penalties. These penalties can include up to a $5,000 fine, a 12-month suspension of your driver’s license, at least 48 hours of incarceration (but up to six months), and one year of the ignition interlock device in your vehicle, among a wide range of other serious penalties.
For a second underage DUI in the state of Pennsylvania, you can expect to face even harsher penalties. While you’ll still face a potential $5,000 fine, one year with the ignition interlock device, and a 12-month driver’s license suspension, you will also face a minimum of 30 days of incarceration, with a maximum of six months behind bars, among other penalties.
Finally, for a third underage DUI, you can expect to face up to a $10,000 fine, an 18-month driver’s license suspension, anywhere between 90 days and five years of incarceration, one year with the ignition interlock device, and more.
What happens if a minor under the age of 21 refuses to take a breathalyzer test?
If you are under the age of 21 and refuse to take a breathalyzer test, you will still face a range of penalties, including the automatic one-year suspension of your driver’s license.
Underage DUI charges of any kind are no laughing matter, and if you’re currently facing them, it is paramount that you hire a dedicated attorney who can fight your charges at every turn. Here at the Law Offices of George Heym, we care about your future and will do everything in our power to protect it.