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Have you been charged with DUI, Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Controlled Substance.

DUI’s can be defended in one of many various ways.  From alleging that the original stop was without reasonable suspicion or probable cause to testing the procedures of testing, I will defend your rights.

The following are some of the laws regarding DUI:

PA 75:3802 Driving under influence of alcohol or controlled substance.
PA 75:3804 Penalties.
There are three levels of DUI.
General Impairment penalties (Undetermined BAC, .08 to .099% BAC).
High BAC penalties (.10 to .159% BAC)
Highest BAC penalties (.16% and higher) or Controlled Substance
License Suspensions
Ignition Interlock
Ignition Interlock Violations
Occupational Limited Licenses (OLL’s)
Expungement of Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition (ARD) Records
Implied Consent/Breath or Chemical Testing

PA 75:3802 Driving under influence of alcohol or controlled substance.

(a)  General impairment.–
(1)  An individual may not drive, operate or be in actual physical control of the movement of a vehicle after imbibing a sufficient amount of alcohol such that the individual is rendered incapable of safely driving, operating or being in actual physical control of the movement of the vehicle.
(2)  An individual may not drive, operate or be in actual physical control of the movement of a vehicle after imbibing a sufficient amount of alcohol such that the alcohol concentration in the individuals blood or breath is at least 0.08% but less than 0.10% within two hours after the individual has driven, operated or been in actual physical control of the movement of the vehicle.
(b)  High rate of alcohol.–An individual may not drive, operate or be in actual physical control of the movement of a vehicle after imbibing a sufficient amount of alcohol such that the alcohol concentration in the individuals blood or breath is at least 0.10% but less than 0.16% within two hours after the individual has driven, operated or been in actual physical control of the movement of the vehicle.
(c)  Highest rate of alcohol.–An individual may not drive, operate or be in actual physical control of the movement of a vehicle after imbibing a sufficient amount of alcohol such that the alcohol concentration in the individuals blood or breath is 0.16% or higher within two hours after the individual has driven, operated or been in actual physical control of the movement of the vehicle.
(d)  Controlled substances.–An individual may not drive, operate or be in actual physical control of the movement of a vehicle under any of the following circumstances:
(1)  There is in the individuals blood any amount of a:
(i)  Schedule I controlled substance, as defined in the act of April 14, 1972 (P.L.233, No.64), known as The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act;
(ii)  Schedule II or Schedule III controlled substance, as defined in The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act, which has not been medically prescribed for the individual; or
(iii)  metabolite of a substance under subparagraph (i) or (ii).
(2)  The individual is under the influence of a drug or combination of drugs to a degree which impairs the individuals ability to safely drive, operate or be in actual physical control of the movement of the vehicle.
(3)  The individual is under the combined influence of alcohol and a drug or combination of drugs to a degree which impairs the individuals ability to safely drive, operate or be in actual physical control of the movement of the vehicle.
(4)  The individual is under the influence of a solvent or noxious substance in violation of 18 Pa.C.S. 7303 (relating to sale or illegal use of certain solvents and noxious substances).
(e)  Minors.–A minor may not drive, operate or be in actual physical control of the movement of a vehicle after imbibing a sufficient amount of alcohol such that the alcohol concentration in the minors blood or breath is 0.02% or higher within two hours after the minor has driven, operated or been in actual physical control of the movement of the vehicle.
(f)  Commercial or school vehicles.–An individual may not drive, operate or be in actual physical control of the movement of a commercial vehicle, school bus or school vehicle in any of the following circumstances:
(1)  After the individual has imbibed a sufficient amount of alcohol such that the alcohol concentration in the individuals blood or breath is:
(i)  0.04% or greater within two hours after the individual has driven, operated or been in actual physical control of the movement of a commercial vehicle other than a school bus or a school vehicle.
(ii)  0.02% or greater within two hours after the individual has driven, operated or been in actual physical control of the movement of a school bus or a school vehicle.
(2)  After the individual has imbibed a sufficient amount of alcohol such that the individual is rendered incapable of safely driving, operating or being in actual physical control of the movement of the vehicle.
(3)  While the individual is under the influence of a controlled substance or combination of controlled substances, as defined in section 1603 (relating to definitions).
(4)  While the individual is under the combined influence of alcohol and a controlled substance or combination of controlled substances, as defined in section 1603.
(g)  Exception to two-hour rule.–Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a), (b), (c), (e) or (f), where alcohol or controlled substance concentration in an individuals blood or breath is an element of the offense, evidence of such alcohol or controlled substance concentration more than two hours after the individual has driven, operated or been in actual physical control of the movement of the vehicle is sufficient to establish that element of the offense under the following circumstances:
(1)  where the Commonwealth shows good cause explaining why the chemical test sample could not be obtained within two hours; and
(2)  where the Commonwealth establishes that the individual did not imbibe any alcohol or utilize a controlled substance between the time the individual was arrested and the time the sample was obtained.

PA 75:3804 Penalties.

(a)  General impairment.–Except as set forth in subsection (b) or (c), an individual who violates section 3802(a) (relating to driving under influence of alcohol or controlled substance) shall be sentenced as follows:
(1)  For a first offense, to:
(i)  undergo a mandatory minimum term of six months probation;
(ii)  pay a fine of $300;
(iii)  attend an alcohol highway safety school approved by the department; and
(iv)  comply with all drug and alcohol treatment requirements imposed under sections 3814 (relating to drug and alcohol assessments) and 3815 (relating to mandatory sentencing).
(2)  For a second offense, to:
(i)  undergo imprisonment for not less than five days;
(ii)  pay a fine of not less than $300 nor more than $2,500;
(iii)  attend an alcohol highway safety school approved by the department; and
(iv)  comply with all drug and alcohol treatment requirements imposed under sections 3814 and 3815.
(3)  For a third or subsequent offense, to:
(i)  undergo imprisonment of not less than ten days;
(ii)  pay a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $5,000; and
(iii)  comply with all drug and alcohol treatment requirements imposed under sections 3814 and 3815.
(b)  High rate of blood alcohol; minors; commercial vehicles and school buses and school vehicles; accidents.–Except as set forth in subsection (c), an individual who violates section 3802(a)(1) where there was an accident resulting in bodily injury, serious bodily injury or death of any person or damage to a vehicle or other property or who violates section 3802(b), (e) or (f) shall be sentenced as follows:
(1)  For a first offense, to:
(i)  undergo imprisonment of not less than 48 consecutive hours;
(ii)  pay a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $5,000;
(iii)  attend an alcohol highway safety school approved by the department; and
(iv)  comply with all drug and alcohol treatment requirements imposed under sections 3814 and 3815.
(2)  For a second offense, to:
(i)  undergo imprisonment of not less than 30 days;
(ii)  pay a fine of not less than $750 nor more than $5,000;
(iii)  attend an alcohol highway safety school approved by the department; and
(iv)  comply with all drug and alcohol treatment requirements imposed under sections 3814 and 3815.
(3)  For a third offense, to:
(i)  undergo imprisonment of not less than 90 days;
(ii)  pay a fine of not less than $1,500 nor more than $10,000; and
(iii)  comply with all drug and alcohol treatment requirements imposed under sections 3814 and 3815.
(4)  For a fourth or subsequent offense, to:
(i)  undergo imprisonment of not less than one year;
(ii)  pay a fine of not less than $1,500 nor more than $10,000; and
(iii)  comply with all drug and alcohol treatment requirements imposed under sections 3814 and 3815.
(c)  Incapacity; highest blood alcohol; controlled substances.–An individual who violates section 3802(a)(1) and refused testing of blood or breath or an individual who violates section 3802(c) or (d) shall be sentenced as follows:
(1)  For a first offense, to:
(i)  undergo imprisonment of not less than 72 consecutive hours;
(ii)  pay a fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $5,000;
(iii)  attend an alcohol highway safety school approved by the department; and
(iv)  comply with all drug and alcohol treatment requirements imposed under sections 3814 and 3815.
(2)  For a second offense, to:
(i)  undergo imprisonment of not less than 90 days;
(ii)  pay a fine of not less than $1,500;
(iii)  attend an alcohol highway safety school approved by the department; and
(iv)  comply with all drug and alcohol treatment requirements imposed under sections 3814 and 3815.
(3)  For a third or subsequent offense, to:
(i)  undergo imprisonment of not less than one year;
(ii)  pay a fine of not less than $2,500; and
(iii)  comply with all drug and alcohol treatment requirements imposed under sections 3814 and 3815.
(c.1)  Violation involving minor occupant.–An individual who violates section 3803(b)(5) (relating to grading), in addition to any penalty imposed in this chapter, shall be sentenced as follows:
(1)  For a first offense, to:
(i)  pay a fine of not less than $1,000; and
(ii)  complete 100 hours of community service.
(2)  For a second offense, to:
(i)  pay a fine of not less than $2,500; and
(ii)  undergo imprisonment of not less than one month nor more than six months.
(3)  For a third or subsequent offense, undergo imprisonment of not less than six months nor more than two years.
(d)  Extended supervision of court.–If a person is sentenced pursuant to this chapter and, after the initial assessment required by section 3814(1), the person is determined to be in need of additional treatment pursuant to section 3814(2), the judge shall impose a minimum sentence as provided by law and a maximum sentence equal to the statutorily available maximum. A sentence to the statutorily available maximum imposed pursuant to this subsection may, in the discretion of the sentencing court, be ordered to be served in a county prison, notwithstanding the provisions of 42 Pa.C.S. 9762 (relating to sentencing proceeding; place of confinement).
(e)  Suspension of operating privileges upon conviction.–
(1)  The department shall suspend the operating privilege of an individual under paragraph (2) upon receiving a certified record of the individuals conviction of or an adjudication of delinquency for:
(i)  an offense under section 3802; or
(ii)  an offense which is substantially similar to an offense enumerated in section 3802 reported to the department under Article III of the compact in section 1581 (relating to Drivers License Compact).
(2)  Suspension under paragraph (1) shall be in accordance with the following:
(i)  Except as provided for in subparagraph (iii), 12 months for an ungraded misdemeanor or misdemeanor of the second degree under this chapter.
(ii)  18 months for a misdemeanor of the first degree under this chapter.
(iii)  There shall be no suspension for an ungraded misdemeanor under section 3802(a) where the person is subject to the penalties provided in subsection (a) and the person has no prior offense.
(iv)  For suspensions imposed under paragraph (1)(ii), notwithstanding any provision of law or enforcement agreement to the contrary, all of the following apply:
(A)  Suspensions shall be in accordance with Subchapter D of Chapter 15 (relating to the Drivers License Compact).
(B)  In calculating the term of a suspension for an offense that is substantially similar to an offense enumerated in section 3802, the department shall presume that if the conduct reported had occurred in this Commonwealth then the person would have been convicted under section 3802(a)(2).
(v)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law or enforcement agreement to the contrary, the department shall suspend the operating privilege of a driver for six months upon receiving a certified record of a consent decree granted under 42 Pa.C.S. Ch. 63 (relating to juvenile matters) based on section 3802.
(f)  Community service assignments.–In addition to the penalties set forth in this section, the sentencing judge may impose up to 150 hours of community service. Where the individual has been ordered to drug and alcohol treatment pursuant to sections 3814 and 3815, the community service shall be certified by the drug and alcohol treatment program as consistent with any drug and alcohol treatment requirements imposed under sections 3814 and 3815.
(f.1)  Victim impact panels.–
(1)  In addition to any other penalty imposed under this section, the court may order a person who violates section 3802 to attend a victim impact panel program.
(2)  A victim impact panel program shall provide a nonconfrontational forum for driving under the influence crash victims, their family members, their friends or other pertinent persons to speak to driving under the influence offenders about the impact of the crash on victims lives and on the lives of families, friends and neighbors.
(3)  A victim impact panel shall be administrated through the local office of probation and parole or other office as the court shall determine and shall be operated in consultation with the Mothers Against Drunk Driving – Pennsylvania State Organization.
(4)  A victim impact panel program may assess a reasonable participation fee to achieve program self-sufficiency but may not operate for profit. The department shall establish an acceptable range of fees.
(5)  The department shall develop standards and incentives to encourage counties to establish victim impact panel programs. In developing these standards, the department shall establish and chair a coordinating committee among pertinent agencies and organizations, including the Department of Health, the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, the Office of Victim Advocate, the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts, county officials, the Mothers Against Drunk Driving – Pennsylvania State Organization and the Pennsylvania DUI Association. The standards shall address items including all of the following:
(i)  Prototype design and structure standards for victim impact panels.
(ii)  Training standards and curricula for presenters, facilitators and administrators.
(iii)  Operations policy and guidelines manual.
(iv)  Evaluation standards, design and structure allowing for the tracking and analysis of recidivism data.
(v)  Standards for counseling and debriefing activities for victim presenters.
(vi)  Standards for reimbursing reasonable costs to victims for participation in panels.
(vii)  Assistance to counties through coordinating potential Federal and State funding streams to carry out this subsection and to assist counties as may be needed.
(g)  Sentencing guidelines.–The sentencing guidelines promulgated by the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing shall not supersede the mandatory penalties of this section.
(h)  Appeal.–The Commonwealth has the right to appeal directly to the Superior Court any order of court which imposes a sentence for violation of this section which does not meet the requirements of this section. The Superior Court shall remand the case to the sentencing court for imposition of a sentence in accordance with the provisions of this section.
(i)  First class cities.–Notwithstanding the provision for direct appeal to the Superior Court, if, in a city of the first class, a person appeals from a judgment of sentence under this section from the municipal court to the common pleas court for a trial de novo, the Commonwealth shall have the right to appeal directly to the Superior Court from the order of the common pleas court if the sentence imposed is in violation of this section. If, in a city of the first class, a person appeals to the court of common pleas after conviction of a violation of this section in the municipal court and thereafter withdraws his appeal to the common pleas court, thereby reinstating the judgment of sentence of the municipal court, the Commonwealth shall have 30 days from the date of the withdrawal to appeal to the Superior Court if the sentence is in violation of this section.
(j)  Additional conditions.–In addition to any other penalty imposed under law, the court may sentence a person who violates section 3802 to any other requirement or condition consistent with the treatment needs of the person, the restoration of the victim to preoffense status or the protection of the public.
(k)  Nonapplicability.–Except for subsection (e), this section shall not apply to dispositions resulting from proceedings under 42 Pa.C.S. Ch. 63.

There are three levels of DUI:
1    General Impairment (.08 to .099% BAC)
2    High BAC (.10 to .159% BAC)
3    Highest BAC (.16% and higher) and Controlled Substances

Under the new DUI law minors, commercial drivers, school vehicle or bus drivers, and offenders involved in an accident that injures someone or causes property damage may be subject to the high BAC penalties even if their BAC is not in the high category.

Offenders who refuse breath or chemical testing may be subject to the highest BAC penalties. The following shows the penalties for each of the BAC categories:

General Impairment penalties (Undetermined BAC, .08 to .099% BAC)

No prior DUI offenses
•    ungraded misdemeanor
•    up to 6 months probation
•    $300 fine
•    alcohol highway safety school
•    treatment when ordered
1 prior DUI offense
•    ungraded misdemeanor
•    12 month license suspension
•    5 days to 6 months jail time
•    $300 to $2,500 fine
•    alcohol highway safety school
•    treatment when ordered
•    1 year ignition interlock
2 or more prior DUI offenses
•    2nd degree misdemeanor
•    12 month license suspension
•    10 days to 2 years prison
•    $500 to $5,000 fine
•    treatment when ordered
•    1 year ignition interlock

High BAC penalties (.10 to .159% BAC)
No prior DUI offenses
•    ungraded misdemeanor
•    12 month license suspension
•    48 hours to 6 months prison
•    $500 to $5,000 fine
•    alcohol highway safety school
•    treatment when ordered
1 prior DUI offense
•    ungraded misdemeanor
•    12 month suspension
•    30 days to 6 months prison
•    $750 to $5,000 fine
•    alcohol highway safety school
•    treatment when ordered
•    1 year ignition interlock
2 or more prior DUI offenses
•    1st degree misdemeanor
•    18 month license suspension
•    90 days to 5 years prison
•    $1,500 to $10,000 fine
•    treatment when ordered
•    1 year ignition interlock
3 or more prior DUI offenses
•    1st degree misdemeanor
•    18 month license suspension
•    1 to 5 years prison
•    $1,500 to $10,000 fine
•    treatment when ordered
•    1 year ignition interlock

Highest BAC penalties (.16% and higher) or Controlled Substance

Drivers under the influence of controlled substances and those who refuse breath or chemical testing are subject to the highest BAC category penalties.

No prior DUI offenses
•    ungraded misdemeanor
•    12 month license suspension
•    72 hours to 6 months prison
•    $1,000 to $5,000 fine
•    alcohol highway safety school
•    treatment when ordered
1 prior DUI offense
•    1st degree misdemeanor
•    18 month license suspension
•    90 days to 5 years prison
•    $1,500 to $10,000 fine
•    alcohol highway safety school
•    treatment when ordered
•    1 year ignition interlock
2 or more prior DUI offenses
•    1st degree misdemeanor
•    18 month license suspension
•    1 to 5 years prison
•    $2,500 to $10,000
•    treatment when ordered
•    1 year ignition interlock

License Suspensions
Suspensions will be imposed as follows:
•    BAC below .10% and incapable of safe driving: No suspension for first offense if the driver meets certain criteria; 12 month license suspension for second or subsequent offense.
•    BAC greater than or equal to .10% and less than .16%: 12 month license suspension for first and second offense. 18 month suspension for third or subsequent offense.
•    BAC greater than or equal to .16%: 12 month license suspension for first offense. 18 month suspension for second or subsequent offense.
•    Out-of-state DUI convictions: No suspension for first offense; 12 month license suspension for second or subsequent offense.

Ignition Interlock
Drivers who receive a second or subsequent DUI violation on or after September 30, 2003, can no longer serve an additional one year suspension in lieu of obtaining an ignition interlock device. Drivers are required to install ignition interlock on all vehicles owned (including leased) before driving privileges can be restored.

Ignition Interlock Violations: Individuals convicted of driving without or tampering with the ignition interlock device will have their ignition interlock period extended 12 month from the date of conviction for the first offense and will have their driving privileges suspended for 12 months for the second or subsequent offenses. Upon restoration they must comply with ignition interlock for 12 months. Individuals, whose driving privileges are suspended during the ignition interlock period for a non-ignition interlock violation, must complete the ignition interlock period upon restoration.

Occupational Limited Licenses (OLL’s)
First time DUI offenders may be eligible for an OLL after serving 60 days of their suspension. Individuals whose licenses are suspended for 18 months (for DUI or refusing breath or chemical testing) and have no more than one prior offense may be eligible for an OLL with an ignition interlock after serving 12 months of their suspension. In addition, first time underage drinking violators may be eligible for an OLL.
-Effective February 1, 2004

Expungement of Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition (ARD) Records
PennDOT will automatically expunge ARD records after 10 years providing a person’s operating privileges were not revoked as a habitual offender and/or the person was not a commercial driver at the time of the violation.

Implied Consent/Breath or Chemical Testing
Suspensions for individuals who refuse to submit to breath or chemical testing may be increased. Breath or chemical testing may now be required for individuals who are arrested for driving under a DUI-related suspension or driving without an ignition interlock device.

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