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What are the Penalties for a First DUI Offense?

What are the Penalties for a First DUI Offense?

In Pennsylvania, a driver 21 years or older cannot drive with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .08% or above. Drivers under age 21 cannot driver with a BAC of .02% or above. If a driver is caught driving over the legal limit they can be charged with a DUI. In order to determine a BAC level, law enforcement performs a chemical test. The state of Pennsylvania has an implied consent law, which requires drivers to perform one form of chemical test. The test could either be a urine, breathe or blood test but at least one has to be performed. If a driver refuses to take a chemical test they can have their license suspended for one year. If they refuse a second time in the future, the suspension can increase to 18 months. If you have been arrested for any type of DUI offense it is important to contact a skilled Reading criminal attorney right away.

The penalties for a first DUI conviction include:

  • Possible jail time but there is not a minimum requirement
  • Possible fines of up to $300 but there are different tiers depending on your BAC level
  • Ignition interlock device if you refuse the chemical test
  • Possible license suspension depending on the BAC level

Subsequent offenses have higher penalties but it is important to fight against your charges in order to avoid a tainted criminal record. Pennsylvania has barred the plea bargain for a "wet reckless" conviction in place of a DUI. In many states, defendants are able to negotiate a reduced offense of "wet reckless" (reckless driving involving alcohol) but not in Pennsylvania. Looking for an attorney for a DUI in Reading? If you are facing your first DUI offense you need to team up with a Reading criminal defense lawyer from Curtis E. Barnes, Attorney at Law. Call our firm today to see how we may be able to help you fight your DUI charges.


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