Someone who operates a motor vehicle in Pennsylvania with a blood alcohol content level above .08 is considered per se intoxicated, meaning they are legally deemed to be intoxicated even without additional evidence supporting that allegation. A driver may be arrested and convicted of driving under the influence even if they have a BAC level lower than .08 if there is other evidence that the driver is intoxicated. For drivers under the legal drinking age, a BAC level of only .02 while operating motor vehicle is illegal.
Many people have been arrested or charged with DUI, but not many couples have been arrested on the same night for allegedly driving in the same vehicle while drunk. According to police, a western Pennsylvania man and woman were both seen allegedly driving the same vehicle while intoxicated. Police report that the male was driving the vehicle first and appeared to be swerving. He then pulled into a parking lot where he allegedly switched seats with the female. Police pulled the vehicle over a few minutes later. Police report that both parties had alcohol on their breath. The male had a BAC level over the legal limit. The female had a BAC level slightly below, but police say she was not capable of safe driving.
If convicted of DUI, the couple each face penalties that might include fines, probation, community service or jail time. The severity of the penalties they face will depend on whether they have had any previous DUI violations and whether they engaged in any other dangerous activity such as reckless driving. Penalties for a DUI conviction may also be more severe if there was a child in the car.
With these severe consequences in mind, it is important that individuals arrested for drunk driving understand the allegations against them and any possible defenses they have at their disposal. Seeking professional help is often the first step in building a solid case on behalf of the accused.
Source: Miami Herald, “Police charge W. Pa. couple with DUI in same car,” Aug. 7, 2013