When you are in college, you are likely to be exposed to alcohol at parties before you are 21 years of age. Even when you are of legal age to consume alcoholic beverages, you must still be responsible when you consume alcohol. Our Edinboro DUI defense attorneys caution college students to be responsible alcohol because Pennsylvania DUI laws have severe penalties for convictions. One mistake can have serious repercussions for your future.
DUI Convictions for First Offenses
The penalty for a DUI first offense depends on the blood alcohol content (BAC) at the time of your arrest. If your BAC is between 0.08 and 0.099, you are facing six months of probation and a $300 fine. When your BAC is between .10 and .0159, you will serve a jail sentence of up to six months and a fine of $500 to $5,000. When your BAC is .16 or above, you also face up to six months in jail and a fine between $1,000 and $5,000.
DUI Convictions for Second Offenses
If you are convicted of a second DUI within ten years of a prior conviction, the penalties increase. For BAC levels between 0.08 and 0.099, the penalty is a jail sentence of five days to six months and a fine of $300 to $2,500. The jail sentence for a 2nd offense DUI with a BAC of 0.10 to .0159 increases to between 30 days and six months with a fine between $750 and $5,000. For offenders with a BAC of 0.16 or higher, the prison sentence is 90 days to five years with a fine between $1,500 and $10,000.
DUI convictions have serious consequences beyond jail time and fines. In addition to fines and jail time, you could face other punishments including alcohol treatment programs and installation of an ignition interlock device. Even if you receive a small fine and probation, a DUI can follow you for years. You might be turned down for certain jobs because of your criminal record.
Pennsylvania’s Implied Consent Laws
College students need to be aware of the implied consent laws in Pennsylvania. If you are stopped for DUI, you are required to submit to a BAC test if the officer believes you are driving under the influence of alcohol. You do have the right to refuse the test; however, your refusal results in a one-year suspension of your license for a first offense and an 18-month suspension for a second offense.
Should I Call an Edinboro DUI Attorney for Help?
Yes, if you are arrested for DUI, you need to consult with a Pennsylvania DUI attorney as soon as possible. An arrest is different from a conviction. You could have a valid defense to the DUI charge. The police officer will not tell you this nor will the prosecutor tell you. Their job is to gain a conviction. Before you agree to plead guilty to DUI, you deserve to have an experienced attorney review your case and advise you of your legal rights and options.
Contact The Travis Law Firm at (800) 401-2066 to request a free legal consultation with an experienced DUI attorney in Edinboro. We help college students fight DUI charges. Let us provide the support and legal counsel you need as you fight your DUI charges.