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Drunk Driving Penalties in PA

Pennsylvania, like many other states, bases DUI penalties in part upon how intoxicated a person is at the time of the offense.  Penalties may also vary based on the number of previous offenses.  Many people have the misconception that you do not get jail time for your first DUI offense.  This can be true if your blood-alcohol content (BAC) is less than 0.1 percent—although you can receive up to six months of probation, court-ordered treatment, fines, and other penalties.

However, if police determine your BAC was above 0.1 percent, you may face a mandatory minimum of two days in jail, even for your first offense.  You may also receive a 12-month suspension of your license, up to a $5,000 fine, and other penalties.  If your BAC was above 0.16 percent—two times the legal limit—you can face a minimum jail sentence of six days.  These penalties multiply for repeat offenders until they reach a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

People tend to underestimate the seriousness of a DUI charge.  Perhaps this is because it is such an easy crime for average people to commit.  But the fact that it is common does not detract from its severity.  DUI carries stiff penalties, a criminal record, education and treatment requirements, and social stigma.  This is not just another traffic offense.  It can have a lasting impact on your personal and professional life.  That is why it is so important to face these serious charges with an experienced Berks County criminal defense attorney at your side.

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