Pennsylvania DUI law
There are two main elements that Pennsylvania’s DUI law focuses on 1) driving and 2) intoxication.
Pennsylvania law states, “An individual may not drive, operate or be in actual physical control of the movement of a vehicle”, while intoxicated.
Most people understand driving while intoxicated is prohibited by under the law, actual physical control of the movement of a vehicle can mean many things. A combination of the following factors can be used to try and prove that you have or had ‘actual physical control’ of an automobile: the motor running, the location of the vehicle, whether the engine is hot and any additional evidence the police can find that leads them to believe you drove the vehicle recently.
Pennsylvania law states that a person should not operate a vehicle if they have consumed enough alcohol to:
- Prevent them from safely operating the vehicle
- Place their BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) above .08%
- Have enough active ingredient or drug metabolite in their system to put them over the Pennsylvania Statutory limit.
DUI in Pennsylvania Penalties
Step two in understanding a DUI is understanding all the potential penalties that can result from a DUI. Punishments increase in severity based on, number of previous DUI Convictions, a person’s blood alcohol content, or whether there were drugs in your system. These punishments range from probation with no jail time up to a mandatory minimum of one year in state prison. DUI offenses, by law, almost always come with mandatory minimum jail sentences that require a person to spend, at least some time, in jail. A Lancaster Pennsylvania DUI Lawyer can assist you in understanding the penalties and knowing your rights.
Penalties resulting from the Blood or Breath Testing
The law no longer allows additional penalties for refusal of a blood test without a warrant. A refusal still requires a mandatory 1-year license suspension by PennDot. The suspension still applies if the police do not receive a warrant to draw your blood.
Police typically ask first time offenders if they would submit to chemical testing. This can either be a blood test or a breathalizer. A refusal leads to an automatic 1-year license suspension. Police need to request a warrant to proceed with a blood draw if you refuse. They typically request a warrant for a repeat DUI offender. Police can use their discretion on if and when to get a warrant. Drivers are charged, with additonal crimes, when refusing a test after a warrant is acquired.
A breathalyzer can test only for alcohol consumption while a blood test can show both alcohol and drug consumption. This can become an issue when taking drugs such as marijuana into consideration. Marijuana can stay in your system and show on a blood test up to 30 after its use and long after the effects have worn off.
Mandatory Minimum Jail sentences
Your penalty for a DUI in Pennsylvania will be based on the number of convictions you have within the past 10 years. The 10-year lookback for DUI sentencing is measured from the date of the current DUI arrest to the date of any previous DUI convictions within the past 10 years. Below is a chart containing the mandatory sentences for any DUI offense. Contact a Lancaster Pennsylvania DUI Lawyer if you have any further questions regarding the penalties for DUI.
No Criminal proceeding is simple or straightforward. Contact The Shelton Firm today to handle your York DUI case. Call a DUI Lawyer near me now at 717-823-0899 to schedule a consultation.
At The Shelton Firm we offer legal services ranging from Criminal Defense, Personal Injury, Automobile Accidents, DUI, Divorce and Separation Issues, Expungements and Sealing of criminal records, and Traffic Ticket defense. Our goal is to bring quality and affordable representation to the residents of Chester, York, Lebanon and Lancaster County