DUI - Driving Under The Influence

Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

 

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Being arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in Pennsylvania can result in large fines, increased insurance costs, the loss of your driver’s license and even incarceration. The consequences of losing your license reach beyond yourself and will burden your friends and family because you will no longer have the ability to travel independently to work, attend social events, or simply run errands without their help. Using the skills of a lawyer experienced in DUI cases will help you to build a case to protect your finances and also preserve your freedom and ability to drive.

Elliott & Davis, PC. Is an experienced firm of aggressive attorneys who will help you construct the best possible defense to DUI charges and work with you to minimize the disruption a DUI arrest causes your life.

The range of penalties for driving under the influence in Pennsylvania varies widely, and is largely based on the level of intoxication and prior offenses.

Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition

If this is your first DUI offense, you may be eligible for Pennsylvania’s Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program (ARD), which may allow the charges to be expunged from your record after completion.

Participating in ARD allows you to avoid a lengthy court process, jail time, and many other penalties. In place of that, you must attend a schedule of supervised meetings and complete the mandatory Alcohol Highway Safety Course within a two-year probationary period. The court may choose to impose other restrictions as well, depending on the circumstances.

Are you eligible for ARD?

Admission into the ARD program is solely at the discretion of the District Attorney. Not all first time offenders are eligible. If a child under the age of 14 was involved at the time of arrest or serious injury or death resulted from a DUI accident, ARD will not be available.

Additionally, after consulting with one of our attorneys, you may find your best choice is to fight to win your case altogether. Your best chance for a positive outcome in your DUI case is with the assistance of an experienced and aggressive attorney, and Elliot & Davis would like to provide that to you.

Watercraft DUI

While these cases are less common, most of the same rules apply as for automotive charges. As above, the attorneys at Elliot & Davis look forward to working with you to reach the best outcome in your DUI case.

Free Consultation. 

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412-434-4911 extension 35

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The Law.  

Below you will find the actual text of the Pennsylvania statute governing DUI charges in Pennsylvania.

18 Pa.C.S.A. § 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 individual’s 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 individual’s 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 individual’s 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 individual’s 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 individual’s 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 individual’s 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 minor’s 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 individual’s 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 individual’s 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.

Chemical Testing to Determine Blood Alcohol Content

18 Pa.C.S.A. § 1547.  Chemical testing to determine amount of alcohol or controlled substance.

(a)  General rule.–Any person who drives, operates or is in actual physical control of the movement of a vehicle in this Commonwealth shall be deemed to have given consent to one or more chemical tests of breath, blood or urine for the purpose of determining the alcoholic content of blood or the presence of a controlled substance if a police officer has reasonable grounds to believe the person to have been driving, operating or in actual physical control of the movement of a vehicle:

(1) in violation of section 1543(b)(1.1) (relating to driving while operating privilege is suspended or revoked), 3802 (relating to driving under influence of alcohol or controlled substance) or 3808(a)(2) (relating to illegally operating a motor vehicle not equipped with ignition interlock); or

(2)  which was involved in an accident in which the operator or passenger of any vehicle involved or a pedestrian required treatment at a medical facility or was killed.

(b)  Suspension for refusal.–

(1)  If any person placed under arrest for a violation of section 3802 is requested to submit to chemical testing and refuses to do so, the testing shall not be conducted but upon notice by the police officer, the department shall suspend the operating privilege of the person as follows:

(i)  Except as set forth in subparagraph (ii), for a period of 12 months.

(ii)  For a period of 18 months if any of the following apply:

(A)  The person’s operating privileges have previously been suspended under this subsection.

(B)  The person has, prior to the refusal under this paragraph, been sentenced for:

(I)  an offense under section 3802;

(II)  an offense under former section 3731;

(III)  an offense equivalent to an offense under subclause (I) or (II); or

(IV)  a combination of the offenses set forth in this clause.

(2)  It shall be the duty of the police officer to inform the person that:

(i)  the person’s operating privilege will be suspended upon refusal to submit to chemical testing; and

(ii)  if the person refuses to submit to chemical testing, upon conviction or plea for violating section 3802(a)(1), the person will be subject to the penalties provided in section 3804(c) (relating to penalties).

(3)  Any person whose operating privilege is suspended under the provisions of this section shall have the same right of appeal as provided for in cases of suspension for other reasons.

See also:

ARD
Drug Crimes
Operating Watercraft Under Influence of Alcohol or Controlled Substance