With penalties ranging from probation to five years in prison, it is easy to get confused by potential DUI consequences. Rehabilitative options and license suspensions further complicate matters.
Case outcomes depend on many variables. This article will look at three potentially important factors.
1. BAC level
Blood alcohol content measurements are among the most important facts of a DUI case. This is due to the current Pennsylvania law that sets different penalties for different levels of BAC.
Lower test measurements generally mean lower penalties. The three categories are general impairment, high BAC and highest BAC.
2. Prior offenses
Previous DUI offenses may increase the severity of punishments. There are three categories for general impairment and highest impairment: no prior offense, one and two or more. The prior-offense categories for high impairment are none, one, two and three or more.
3. Driver and offense details
In addition to these more categorical factors that could apply to nearly any DUI case, there are some specific ones that could apply to certain cases. The following could increase penalties:
- Failure to submit to a chemical or breath test
- Causing harm to people or property
- DUI as a minor, commercial driver or school bus driver
Additionally, it is common for DUI to be only one of many charges and citations resulting from a single arrest. These other offenses could include reckless driving, speeding or even involuntary manslaughter. Each of these could have its own consequences.
DUI convictions typically also have ramifications that extend beyond the legal system into social arenas. Variably, they may limit career options, engender prejudice and reduce confidence.