Drinking alcohol is a common activity in Philadelphia. People consume it for various reasons and as long as they consume it responsibly, there is usually nothing illegal about it. However, sometimes people make poor decisions after a night of drinking. Sometimes these decisions simply get the person in trouble with friends or family, but other times the poor decisions lead to accidents or trouble with the law.
One of these decisions is to get behind the wheel after drinking too much. This is a dangerous activity and the law takes it seriously. Therefore, there are significant penalties for those who drink and drive. If a person is convicted of a DUI they may face severe penalties such as jail time and fines. In addition to these criminal penalties, the person may also have their license suspended for a period of time.
The length of the suspension depends on the driver’s BAC level. For a driver below .10 percent but at or above .08, there is no suspension for a first time offense, but there is a 12 month suspension for any subsequent DUI. If the BAC is at or above .10 percent but below .16 percent, there is a 12 month suspension for the first and second violations and an 18 month suspension for a third or more. If the BAC is at or above .16 percent, the suspension is 12 months for the first offense and 18 months for any subsequent offense.
A driver may qualify for an Occupational Limited License, though. This is a license that allows the person to drive to work or school until the suspension is over. If it is a driver’s first violation they may apply for one after serving 60 days of a suspension. If the person is serving an 18 month suspension and has only one prior then they may apply after serving 12 months of the suspension and must have ignition interlock installed in the vehicle.
Each year, many Philadelphia residents find themselves facing a DUI charge. The sting of a license suspension or license revocation can be severe, but there may be defenses available to the driver. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Experienced attorneys understand DUI laws inside and out and can protect one’s rights.
Source: Pennsylvania Driver and Vehicle Services, “.08 DUI Legislation,” accessed on Sept. 14, 2015