Can Pennsylvania Lower The Legal Limit For DUIs?

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While nothing is currently pending before Pennsylvania lawmakers, they may be watching Utah’s lawmakers very closely. In fact, many states may be watching Utah very closely right now. Utah is set to become one of the toughest states on DUIs with a new law that lawmakers passed last week.

According to the Associated Press, Utah lawmakers passed a new law that lowers the legal limit for blood alcohol content from .08 percent to .05 percent. The bill is headed to the governor’s desk and is expected to be signed into law. If Gov. Gary Herbert signs the bill, the law will become effective on December 30, 2018, just in time for New Year’s Eve.

Proponents of the bill claim the lower BAC level will save lives. However, some groups who oppose the bill claim it will hurt state tourism. The American Beverage Institute claims that some men could be considered legally drunk after two beers and some women could be legally drunk after one beer under the new law. The managing director of the American Beverage Institute pointed out that the new BAC limit will do little to make roads safer because over 77 percent of alcohol-related deaths involve drivers who have a BAC of .15 or above.

The National Transportation Safety Board has been encouraging states to lower their BAC limits for to .05 or lower but states have not acted on the advice until Utah passed the new bill. A measure before Hawaii’s Legislature failed to pass but Washington’s Legislature is considering a measure to lower the BAC in that state.

Pennsylvania’s DUI Laws

Pennsylvania’s BAC limit is .08 or higher. If the prosecution can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that your blood alcohol content was .08 or higher while you were driving, the court can find you guilty of drunk driving in Pennsylvania. Consequences of a DUI conviction can be severe and include:

  • Large fines
  • Lengthy jail or prison sentences
  • Increased automobile insurance premiums
  • Loss of driving privileges
  • A permanent criminal record
  • Cost of installing ignition interlock device
  • Cost of substance abuse treatment program

Fighting A Pennsylvania DUI Charge

Hiring an experienced Edinboro DUI attorney is one of the best things you can do if you are charged with drunk driving in Pennsylvania. Your attorney may be able to negotiate a plea bargain if you are not able to avoid a conviction.

Before advising you to accept a plea deal, your Edinboro DUI attorney will investigate your case to ensure your civil rights were not violated. A charge of drunk driving is NOT a conviction. The prosecutor must prove the case in court.

Furthermore, the police may have made mistakes during the DUI stop that invalidates most or all evidence collected, including results of a BAC test. For example, if the police didn’t have reasonable suspicion to make the stop or reasonable cause to administer a BAC test. The attorney will also investigate to determine if field sobriety tests were administered according to proper procedure and to ensure you nor your car was subjected to an unreasonable and illegal search.

Call an Edinboro DUI Attorney Now!

If you are facing a drunk driving charge, don’t face it without an experienced Edinboro DUI attorney by your side. Our law firm has extensive experience investigating DUI cases and defending individuals charged with drunk driving.

Call The Travis Law Firm at (800) 401-2066 to schedule a free legal consultation with a Pennsylvania DUI defense attorney.

Source: Utah lawmakers pass bill to lower DUI limit to 0.05 percent,” Associated Press, Fox News, March 9, 2017