The holidays are approaching and people in Pennsylvania are now starting to attend various holiday parties. They also will have family gatherings and other events. This can be a very festive time of year and many times these parties and gatherings serve alcohol. However, it is important to enjoy in moderation or find sober rides home because if people are caught driving drunk they could face the harsh consequences of a DUI.
This is especially true if people have a previous DUI conviction. The penalties for a second DUI increase. The penalties depend on blood alcohol content. If an arrestee has a BAC between .08 and .99, that person could spend between five days to six months in jail. They will also have a 12-month license suspension and have interlock devices in their vehicles for a year. In addition to that, they will need to pay a fine between $300 and $2,500.
If the BAC is between .10 and .159, arrestees will still face the same license suspension and interlock device requirement, but the minimum jail time increases to 30 days and the minimum fine increases to $750. For people with a BAC at .16 or above, they could be sentenced from 90 days to five years in jail, have a fine between $1,500 and $10,000 and the license suspension increases to 18 months.
These are significant penalties, but they will only occur if people are convicted of the DUI. People are not automatically guilty simply because they were charged and there may be defenses available so people avoid convictions.
Many people in Pennsylvania drink alcohol at the various holiday parties they attend. This by itself is not a problem, but if people consume too much alcohol and drive, it can cause significant problems. But, arrestees are innocent until proven guilty. People who are charged with DUIs could potentially have defenses, starting with whether the police had a valid reason to stop the vehicle.