When the pandemic first began in early 2020, it was thought there may be fewer car accidents in total, and even fewer drunk drivers. According to a recent announcement from the Pennsylvania State Police, that prediction turned out to be true. In their statement, law enforcement said they made 18,412 DUI arrests in 2020, a decrease of 17 percent from 2019.
Although fewer incidences of drunk driving is always positive, it is important to note that there were still nearly 20,000 arrests made. Regardless of whether there is any merit to DUI charges in a specific case, it is important that everyone knows the three following facts about Pennsylvania’s DUI laws.
Pennsylvania Recognizes Three Different Types of DUIs
Not all DUI charges are treated equal in Pennsylvania. In the Commonwealth, there are three different types of DUI charges and they are as follows:
- General impairment: The lowest form of DUI in the state, this charge applies to individuals that are found to be under the influence with an alleged blood alcohol concentration (BAC) between 0.08 percent and 0.099 percent. Even without chemical evidence, a person may face charges of general impairment.
- High impairment: This charge applies to drivers that are allegedly found with a BAC between 0.10 percent and 0.159 percent. This is a more serious charge than general impairment.
- Highest impairment: The most severe type of DUI charge, this applies to any driver alleged to have a BAC higher than 0.16 percent. Drivers found to be under the influence of a controlled substance will also face charges of highest impairment.
Just as not all DUI charges are treated equal, neither are the penalties. If you are convicted of your first DUI, you will likely not face jail time. However, you will still serve probation, face high fines and fees, and other court-ordered penalties. If you are convicted again within a ten-year time period, you will face up to six months in prison, a driver’s license suspension, higher fines, and more. It is critical that you work with a criminal defense lawyer regardless of the charges you are facing or your criminal history.
You Can Avoid Conviction
Being arrested for a DUI is very scary, and you may think the situation is hopeless. It is not. It is possible to avoid a DUI conviction, but you must work with a criminal defense lawyer. An attorney will challenge your DUI arrest, negotiate a favorable plea bargain, and take any other appropriate action in your case.
Call Our Criminal Defense Lawyers in Allentown Today
If you or a loved one has been arrested for a DUI, our Allentown criminal defense lawyers are here to help. At van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim, our skilled attorneys know there are defenses available in DUI cases and will use them effectively to give you the best chance of a positive outcome with your case. Call us today at (215) 486-0123 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.