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Pennsylvania DUI Laws Among the Most Lenient in the US

A new study by WalletHub listed Pennsylvania as one of the most lenient states in the nation in terms of strictness of driving under the influence (DUI) laws. In analyzing and comparing DUI laws across all 50 states and the District of Columbia, the organization determined Pennsylvania ranks 49th out of 51.

Some of the key factors in determining the rankings include the minimum amount of jail time to be served for a first offense, the minimum amount of jail time to be served for a second offense, when drunk driving is classified as an automatic felony and the different types of administrative driver’s license suspension laws the states have in place.

DUI penalties in the Keystone State

In Pennsylvania, the mandatory minimum amount of jail time depends on the driver’s blood-alcohol content (BAC) and whether there are prior convictions for DUI.  The same factors determine what grade of misdemeanor the offense constitutes. There are no administrative license suspension laws in the state. Such laws would allow authorities to confiscate driver’s licenses before the charges result in a conviction.

For comparison, Arizona, which ranked as the strictest state in the nation in the WalletHub study, has a 10-day minimum jail sentence for a first offense and a 90-day minimum sentence for a second offense. A third offense results in an automatic felony. Additionally, individuals in Arizona may have their licenses suspended before conviction for 90 days if their blood alcohol content was more than .08 percent, or .04 percent if they were operating a commercial vehicle.

To learn more about Pennsylvania DUI laws, contact skilled Reading criminal defense attorney David R. Eshelman.

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