DUI Laws in Pittsburgh: What You Need to Know
If you’ve been arrested for a Pittsburgh DUI you could be facing fines, license suspension, and a mandatory jail sentence. Receiving a DUI is a serious legal concern and should be handled cautiously. If you have been charged with a DUI in PA, you will need to know certain things before taking action.
Your BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) and your number of prior DUI’s are used to calculate your Mandatory Minimum Jail Sentence.
If your BAC is tested when you are stopped for a Pittsburgh DUI the percentage of alcohol found in your bloodstream places you in one of three BAC tiers set by Pennsylvania DUI Law. Tier I is the lowest level, ranging from 0.08% to 0.099% BAC. Tier II ranges from 0.10% to 0.159% and Tier III is 0.16% and higher. Tier III also includes those driving with controlled substances, a combination of alcohol and controlled substances, and those who refuse a blood or breath test.
Persons who refuse testing are prosecuted under The General Impairment section of the DUI Statute which states that being under the influence of alcohol to the extent you cannot safely drive qualifies as DUI. This is a subjective standard based upon the testimony of the police officer and does not require a BAC reading. There is also an additional civil penalty of 12 months driver’s license suspension for refusing a breath or blood test which is in addition to any suspension imposed as a result of the DUI charge.
If you are convicted of a DUI in PA, penalties, fines, and punishments range depending on the number of DUIs you have in the previous 10 years combined with which BAC tier you fall into, mandatory minimum sentences on a first DUI offense include:
Tier I BAC .08 – .099 %
- 6 months of probation
- Up to a 1 year driver’s license suspension
- Possible Ignition interlock system for 1 year
Tier II BAC .10 – .159 %
- Driver’s license suspension from 1 year to 18 months
- Mandatory minimum 48 hour jail sentence
- $500 – $10,00 fines
- Ignition interlock system
Tier III BAC .16 % and higher
- Driver’s license suspension from 1 year – 18 months
- Mandatory Minimum 72 hour jail sentence
- $1,000 – $10,000 fine
- Ignition interlock system
Being charged with a DUI does not mean that you are guilty. There are very often defenses that only an experienced DUI Defense Attorney will know to raise in your particular case. Further, it is very often possible to avoid jail, shorten license suspensions and even avoid a criminal record.
Underage drinking and DUIs
Pennsylvania has strict laws against underage drinking and driving. As a part of the “Zero Tolerance” policy, PA underage drinking laws are some of the harshest in the United States. A minor only has to have a BAC of .02 % to fall under the DUI Statute.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI in PA, you need to take immediate action. Contact George Heym, Pittsburgh DUI Lawyer for a free consultation.