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What You Need to Know about DUI

When an individual applies for a driver’s license in Pennsylvania, he or she officially consents to alcohol and chemical testing should a law enforcement official ask them to do so. It is part of the legal privilege of driving.

If such a test finds that a motorist is over the legal limit of alcohol consumption, that motorist will be charged with a DUI (driving under the influence). That legal limit is a blood alcohol level (BAC) of .02 percent for drivers under the age of 21 and .08 percent for those drivers who are 21 years old and older.

In situations where a law enforcement officer suspects drug use — known as DUID (driving under the influence of drugs) cases — a chemical test is administered to determine this. The limit for marijuana is 2 ng/ml (nanograms per milliliter), which can measure ingestion of the drug one or more days before being tested (marijuana remains in a user’s system for up to two months, depending on frequency of use). Legal pharmaceuticals, such as prescribed sleeping pills or anti-anxiety medications, can also result in a DUID charge.

The penalties for a DUI or DUID conviction vary depending on the number of previous convictions and the blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of the present offense. Jail time is possible even for first offenses, but incidents of DUI involving serious injuries or deaths can carry harsher penalties (the charge can escalate to manslaughter in cases involving fatalities).

For the person who refuses to take a chemical test (Breathalyzer®, blood or urine test), there is at least a one-year license suspension.

When you face DUI charges, you need the knowledgeable guidance of a skilled DUI defense attorney.

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