DUI

Driving under the influence (DUI) can be a serious offense that comes with life-changing consequences, whether it’s related to alcohol, drugs or a controlled substance. It’s important to have a DUI defense attorney in Pennsylvania who can fight for your rights and help prevent you from losing your driver's license or going to jail.

Do I qualify for Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition (ARD)?

If this is your first DUI, you might qualify for admission into ARD. The requirements to be considered for ARD are that it is your first offense in 10 years, no one else was killed or seriously injured and there were no passengers in your vehicle younger than 14.

Those accepted in the program will not have a criminal record for DUI but could be ordered to:

  • attend 12.5 hours at the Alcohol Highway Safety School;
  • enroll in drug and/or alcohol treatment;
  • face anywhere from a 30- to 90-day driver’s license suspension;
  • be under court supervision for up to 12 months;
  • and be responsible for fees and fines from $300 to $5,000.

More information on ARD in Pennsylvania is available here.

What do I do if I’ve been pulled over for DUI in Pennsylvania?

Be polite and show the officer your driver’s license, insurance or registration, if he or she asks for it. You do not have to answer any questions that the officer asks about where you’ve been or if you were drinking.

Police officers in Central PA are trained to look for signs of possible drunken driving, including swerving, following too closely, straddling the center lane and responding too slow to traffic signals.

Officers also will look at you for signs of DUI and make note of red, watery or bloodshot eyes, an odor of alcohol, slurred speech and fumbling for your wallet.

But an officer doesn’t know if you’ve just been working a long shift, if you’re sick or many other things that could make you look the same way. A DUI defense lawyer in Pennsylvania can help you prove these things.

Do I have to take a field sobriety test or a portable breath test (PBT)?

Both a field sobriety test and a portable breath test can be refused in Pennsylvania.

By asking you to do these tests, the police officer is looking for evidence against you so he or she might place you under arrest for DUI. If you’ve being arrested for DUI, it’s important that you ask the officer for an attorney immediately and ask him or her to note the time when you requested an attorney.

Should I refuse a blood chemical test?

Refusing to take a blood chemical test, which is taken at the hospital or at booking, means you’ll automatically lose your license for one year. You also could still be found guilty of DUI even without a BAC (blood alcohol content) test result to prove it.

What are the penalties for DUI in Pennsylvania?

DUI penalties in Pennsylvania depend on the level at which your BAC was recorded and whether this is your first offense or one of multiple. Pennsylvania’s BAC threshold is 0.08% for an adult 21 and older and 0.02% for someone younger than 21.

First time DUI offenders could face:

  • six months of probation or up to six months in prison;
  • a $300 to $5,000 fine;
  • mandatory attendance of the Alcohol Highway Safety School’s DUI class;
  • and alcohol and drug treatment.

Second time DUI offenders could face:

  • second or first degree misdemeanor charge;
  • one year to 18 months suspended driver’s license;
  • five days to five years in prison;
  • fines $300 to $10,000;
  • one year installation of an Ignition Interlock Device;
  • mandatory attendance of the Alcohol Highway Safety School’s DUI class;
  • and alcohol and drug treatment.

Third time DUI offenders could face:

  • second or first degree misdemeanor charge;
  • one year to 18 months suspended driver’s license;
  • fines between $500 and $10,000;
  • 10 days to five years in prison;
  • alcohol and drug treatment;
  • and one year installation of an Ignition Interlock Device.

Read more about DUI penalties here or check out PennDOT’s Driver’s Manual for more information.

Call a York, Pa., DUI attorney today

Don’t try to fight a DUI charge on your own. The attorneys at Korey Leslie Attorney-at-Law are experienced Central PA DUI attorneys who can help you fight your charges and get the best outcome for your case. Call 717-845-5353 to schedule your free initial consultation.