DUI: Driving Under the Influence
Driving under the influence (DUI) is a very serious charge that could result in harsh consequences such as jail or prison time. Depending upon the severity of the circumstances, you could also lose your license for an extended period and face various other outcomes. There are three levels of drunk driving; general impairment which includes a BAC level of .08% to .099%, High BAC extending from .10% to .159% and Highest BAC including a BAC of .16% and anything higher than that. These will come with varying penalties, and other factors will be considered in charges such as the extent of damage, aggravating factors and if there are any past DUI offenses.
Two Parts of a DUI
If you have been charged with drunk driving, you will generally be involved in two separate actions relating to the charge. The part that most people are more familiar with is the criminal aspect of the DUI case. In 2003, the legal limit in the state of Pennsylvania was reduced from .10% to .08%. If blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is found to be above the "legal" limit of .08%, you will be arrested for drunk driving. In addition, a field sobriety test may be carried out to assess a number of aspects of a suspect, such as their coordination, balance and ability to understand and carry out instruction. Those convicted can deal with a jail sentence, fines, ignition interlock, mandatory treatment and more.
The second part of the case that many people are not aware of until they are facing a DUI charge themselves has to do with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. The Department of Transportation will attempt to restrict or remove your driving privileges altogether. It is not until you are restricted from driving that many people begin to recognize how crucial a part of their lives it is. It is important that your rights are protected in
both sides of your DUI case and that you know that there is virtually always a defense option in every DUI case.