In Pennsylvania, driving under the influence is a crime that is taken very seriously. If you are arrested for a DUI for a second time, you will face harsher penalties than if it was your first. In order for a DUI to be considered your second offense, it must be the second DUI you have been convicted of in the last ten years. After ten years, a DUI is no longer considered for the purpose of grading a following offense. vehicular homicide dui Pennsylvania uses three different tiers to categorize second offense DUI offenders. These tiers are known as general impairment, high impairment, and highest impairment.
Out of the three tiers, the lowest tier is known as general impairment. In order to fall under this tier, your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) was between .08 and .099%, there was no property damage or injury, and you were considered incapable of safe driving. The penalties for a second offense DUI under the general impairment tier is between five days and six months prison sentence, license suspension for 12 months, fines between $300 and $2,500, $100 surcharge, $100 Substance Abuse Education and Demand Reduction Fund, treatment when ordered, and one year of having an ignition interlock. You may possibly be eligible for Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) under limited circumstances. After the general impairment tier is the next tier.
The second tier of three is known as high impairment. In order to fall under this tier, your BAC was between .10 and 0.159%, you are minor and your BAC was between .02 to .159, or a general BAC with an accident or injury. The penalties for this tier are stricter than the general impairment tier. Penalties include prison time ranging from 30 days to six months, license suspension for 12 months, fines between $750 and $5,0000, $100 surcharge, $100 Substance Abuse Education and Demand Reduction Fund, DUI first offense treatment when ordered, DUI school, and 1 year ignition interlock. Lastly, after high impairment comes the highest tier.
The highest of the three tiers is known as highest impairment. In order to fall under this tier, you had a BAC of .16% or higher, refusal to take a chemical test, or controlled substance DUI. Penalties for the highest impairment tier include first degree misdemeanor conviction, between 90 days and five years in prison, license suspension for 18 months, fines of $1,500 to $10,000, $100 surcharge, $300 Substance Abuse Education and Demand Reduction Fund, treatment when ordered, and DUI school. In addition to criminal charges, you may be facing civil liability if your DUI resulted in death, injury, or caused any damage.
If you or someone you know has been charged with a second DUI offense, it is important to contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible regarding your case. Driving under the influence is an offense that is taken very seriously in Pennsylvania. A criminal defense attorney will be able to assess the elements of your DUI case and find the best course of action to take in order to ensure that your case receives the best possible outcome.