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A few years ago, the Public Radio Program This American Life profiled Penn State University and its ignominious distinction as the #1 Party School in the country. Many of the activities in the program, ranging from public urination to public drunkenness to vandalism and destruction of public property, all often lead to criminal charges being filed.

Pennsylvania’s DUI Law

Pennsylvania’s DUI law uses a progressive, recidivist, multi-tiered system to determine the criminal consequences of impaired driving. There are two factors that are taken into account: the level of alcohol in the defendant’s system (generally, BAC) and the number of prior convictions within the ten-year look back period.

There are three tiers of DUI charges: General Impairment (BAC of 0.08 to 0.099%); High Impairment (BAC of .10 to 0.159%); and Highest Impairment (BAC of .16% or greater). Other factors can be used to determine your tier as well, including, among others, whether the driver is under 21 years of age and whether the driver submitted to or refused a chemical test.

The penalties range from a small fine all the way to several years in state prison. This chart summarizes most of the penalties:

Pennsylvania’s DUI Statute (pdf)

To fully understand the implications of that chart, you should consult with an experienced Pennsylvania DUI attorney who can explain which parts do and do not apply to your particular case.

What can you do?

If you find yourself stopped for a Pennsylvania DUI, you should speak with an experienced Pennsylvania DUI attorney immediately. You may not receive your charges in the mail for weeks or even months, and you will likely be scheduled for court within days of the day you get the papers in the mail. By then, your memory will not be as clear and you won’t be able to provide your attorney with the details that may help you avoid the charge. Remember: the police are trained to remember and record information. They will be certain in what they remember. You should want your DUI attorney to have the same advantage.

If, after being out on the town, you happen to find yourself behind the wheel of a car, chances are you’ll be pulled over by a member of Centre County law enforcement, and will be charged with a DUI. License, Registration. Field Sobriety Tests. A trip to the hospital, a quick blood draw, and on to the Central Booking Center. Your fingerprints and photograph are taken, and your family or a friend are called to pick you up. But the trouble is just beginning…

A few weeks later, you’ll receive a Criminal Complaint and Summons in the mail, both First Class and Certified. You have a court date and need a good defense. Don’t wait until the week of your court date, or even until you get these papers in the mail. Talk to an Experienced DUI Defense Attorney today. Attorney Justin P. Miller has defended hundreds of DUI cases in his career. He knows what to look for to make sure the police did their jobs properly. If there is any way to beat the charge, he will help you find it. If the case against you is, unfortunately, solid, he will work to reduce the consequences.

Sometimes the only thing you can do is accept the mandatory minimum sanctions. Attorney Miller will stand beside you then, too, and help you through this difficult time.

Contact the Law Office of Justin P. Miller today for a free, no-obligation consultation on your case. 814.359.7529.

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