Berks County First Offense DUI Attorney

In 2017, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that there were 10,874 traffic fatalities in the U.S. that resulted from impaired driving. In Pennsylvania, there were approximately 1,137 total traffic fatalities that year. More than 30% of these deaths were associated with one or more drivers operating after the consumption of alcohol. In all U.S. states, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more.

Berks County Accident Data

 

2016

2017

Total Crashes

4,907

5,042

Crashes Involving Impaired Driver

474

457

Crashes Involving Speeding

169

159

Crashes Involving Distracted Driving

678

656

Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs 

Those who “drive, operate, or have physical control” of a vehicle after consuming alcohol that results in an inability to safety operate may be charged with DUI. Operators of vehicles in Pennsylvania are required to submit to chemical testing when a member of law enforcement suspects the driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Anyone that refuses a test is subject to an automatic license suspension and fines.

Pennsylvania law also prohibits drivers from operating a vehicle with a Schedule I controlled substance or its metabolites in their blood. The same applies to those who drive with a Schedule II or III drug in the blood unless prescribed by a doctor or abusing “certain solvents and noxious substances.”

Berks County's DUI Processing Center

The District Attorney's Office implemented a processing center that agencies of law enforcement use for the intake of suspected DUI offenders. A streamlined process employs dedicated staff using the latest tools and resources including video recording and technology for testing and detection. The arresting officers can promptly return to their patrol or field duties.

Penalties for First Time DUI Offenses

Berks County maintains a DUI Treatment Court. First-time offenders in Pennsylvania are generally classified in three tiers based on blood alcohol content (BAC). The first tier applies to those in the .08 to .099% range, with the others being .10 to .159% and .16% or greater.

Tier 1

· Alcohol and/or drug abuse assessment and possible treatment

· Six months of probation

· $300 fine

Tier 2

· Drug and/or alcohol assessment and possible treatment

· Incarceration of between 48 hours and six months or possible house arrest

· A fine ranging from $500 to $5,000

Tier 3

· Drug and/or alcohol assessment and possible treatment

· Incarceration of between 72 hours and six months or possible house arrest

· A fine ranging from $1,000 to $5,000

Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) Option For First-Time DUI Offenders

The ARD program in Berks County is an alternative to the traditional criminal process. Qualifying offenders are eligible for probation instead of the otherwise mandatory 48 to 72 hours in jail. Offenders must complete 16 hours of community service, a DUI safety class, and undergo a drug and/or alcohol assessment. Those who complete the program may be eligible to have the offense expunged from their record.

Pennsylvania Ignition Interlock Law

An ignition interlock device is installed on a vehicle requiring the driver to submit a breath sample for the vehicle to start. First-time DUI offenders who have a high-level BAC or who refuse to submit to testing may be subject to this requirement. The offender is responsible for paying the costs for installation and leasing of the equipment.

Experienced Legal Representation for DUI Offenders

Attorney Joseph D. Lento is extremely well versed in Pennsylvania's DUI law. He employs an effective strategy that closely reviews the facts and may challenge the evidence and consider negotiations. Contact the office today for a case evaluation at (888) 535-3686.

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Attorney Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the Lento Law Firm today! Criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations – the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Berks, Lancaster, Lehigh, and Northampton County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.

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