Drunk driving is usually referred to as driving under the influence (DUI), and driving while intoxicated (DWI). In Pennsylvania , you can add driving after imbibing (DAI) to the list. In addition, a Pennsylvania DUI also relates to driving under the influence of drugs (DUID).
A blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.8 is the baseline for drunk driving in all the United States – the level at which you are impaired. Although Pennsylvania DUI law uses this baseline as well, the State takes itÃ‚Â further by delineating three levels of intoxication, and assigning higher penalties accordingly. The three levels of BAC are between .08 and .099, between .10 and .159, and .16 and above. And, if you have any amount of drugs in your system, you will be penalized as if you had a BAC of .16 and above.
Pennsylvania is an implied consent State, which means you gave your implied consent to undergo a chemical test when you were given your driver’s license. Therefore, Pennsylvania penalizes you for refusing a BAC test in Pennsylvania – your license will be suspended for one year per conviction. In fact, Pennsylvania requires that you send them your actual license. And if you are caught driving while under suspension, you will be incarcerated for 60 days, be fined $500, and have an additional one-year suspension of your license.
Other laws you should know about include:Ã‚Â Jury trials are not allowed for a first-offense Pennsylvania DUI, because a first-offense DUI or DAI are “ungraded misdemeanors.” Jury trials are allowed for second offenses with a BAC .16 or higher, and third and subsequent offenses. Pennsylvania’s look-back period is 10 years; this means that a second offense will be considered a first offense if it happens over 10 years after the first dui arrest.