One of the primary factors in many drunk driving cases is what the person’s blood alcohol concentration is at the time they are stopped. Pennsylvania law sets some specific limits for various situations, so if you are stopped for drunk driving, you should be prepared to learn more about these points.

What are the limits for non-commercial drivers?

Non-commercial drivers have a BAC limit of .08 percent on a BAC as long as they are over 21 years old. That limit drops to .02 percent if they are under 21 years old. A person who has been ordered to have an ignition interlock must have a BAC of .025 percent or below in order to operate the vehicle. There are three levels of impairment for drunk driving of non-commercials. The first is general, which is for people with a .08 to .10 percent. The next is a high rate of impairment, which is for those with a BAC of .10 to .16 percent. The third is the highest rate, which is for those who have a BAC of .16 percent or higher.

What are the limits for commercial drivers?

The type of vehicle that a commercial driver is operating determines the limit. People who are operating a school vehicle or bus have a BAC limit or .02 percent. People driving other commercial vehicles have a limit of .04 percent.

It is important to note that Pennsylvania has a two-hour window for obtaining the BAC of a person stopped for drunk driving. If the BAC falls into an illegal level at any point within that window, they are considered to have been driving while impaired. Understanding the points like these that apply to your case can help you to make informed decisions about your defense.

Source: Pennsylvania General Assembly, “Chapter 38,” accessed Jan. 26, 2017