DUI with Alcohol Over .16 in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania has proved through its stern enforcement of DUI laws that driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol will not be tolerated, and those who are convicted of this crime will be harshly penalized. Despite this crime's overall seriousness, the state determines the severity of penalties through the categorization of three blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels.

If your BAC reaches the highest level (.16 or more), you will be forced to undergo incredibly damaging DUI penalties, that will make it hard to find a good job, limit your ability to commute freely, and will even compromise your freedom. Defendants convicted of a high-level DUI may be looking at months and even years behind bars.

If you have been convicted of a DUI with a very high BAC, it is important you understand the gravity of your situation. In this article, we will reference Pennsylvania's DUI laws and penalties, the three-tier system, and the significance of retaining a lawyer to assist you through the legal process.

DUI with Alcohol over .16 / Third Tier DUI

If you are stopped by the police under the suspicion of a DUI, an officer will request that you take a breathalyzer, blood, or urine test. These tests will determine if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs by assessing how much of it (if any) is in your blood. A person is considered to be “impaired” if he or she has a BAC that pans out to .08% or more.

If a test concludes that your BAC is .16% or higher - double the legal limit - you will be charged with a third tier DUI. This is the highest tier DUI recognized under Pennsylvania law.

Penalties

Due to Pennsylvania's strict DUI laws, third tier DUIs are charged as a misdemeanor, and warrant penalties of imprisonment, even for a first offense. The following penalties will be imposed upon defendants convicted of this crime:

First Offense

  • Up to six months in prison
  • A fine of up to $5,000
  • 12-month license suspension
  • Alcohol highway safety school
  • Drug and alcohol treatment (if ordered)

Second Offense

  • Up to five years in prison
  • A fine of up to $10,000
  • 18-month license suspension
  • Ignition interlock installation for one year
  • Alcohol highway safety school
  • Drug and alcohol treatment (if ordered)

Subsequent Offenses

  • Up to five years in prison
  • A fine of up to $10,000
  • 18-month license suspension
  • Ignition interlock installation for one year
  • Drug and alcohol treatment (if ordered)

Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Attorney

With all that is at stake, you can't afford to not retain legal counsel. Joseph D. Lento has represented clients who have acquired both misdemeanor and felony DUI charges, and he's helped them prevail in court. He can do the same for you. Contact him today for help.

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Attorney Joseph D. Lento has nearly 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 and New Jersey 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, Outside of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance is educational advice, and does not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, 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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