In Pennsylvania, DUI stands for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or a Controlled Substance. The statute that penalizes DUI can be found in §3802 of the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Code. The DUI statute, 75 Pa.C.S.A. §3802, contains all of the Elements of a DUI that are required for conviction.
According to the Pennsylvania DUI statute, an individual may not operate a vehicle if his or her blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is over a .08%. You also may not operate a vehicle if you test positive for alcohol and are incapable of safely driving your vehicle. The prosecution may form the opinion that you were incapable of safe driving based on your demeanor, the results of your Field Tests, evidence of a motor vehicle accident, your BAC, along with any other evidence of intoxication.
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It is also against the law to operate a vehicle with a controlled substance in your system or to operate a vehicle under the influence of a drug or combination of drugs which impairs your ability to operate the vehicle. For instance, you may be convicted of a DUI if you have any amount of marijuana, cocaine, heroin and other controlled substances in your system. You may also be convicted of a DUI if you have a combination of legal drugs and alcohol with a BAC under .08%. It may be determined that the legal drugs enhance the intoxicating effect of the alcohol.
Many first time DUI offenders will be accepted into ARD program which is Pennsylvania’s version of the “first offender program.” This program will help you avoid many of the DUI Penalties. There are also various County DUI Programs for repeat offenders. These programs vary from county to county and typically offer treatment for offenders with alcohol and drug addiction.
If you are not accepted into the ARD program or one the County DUI Programs and wish to challenge your Pennsylvania DUI charge(s), you are entitled to file various pre-trial motions. You may want to file a motion to suppress evidence because the officer lacked probable cause stop the vehicle or had no reasonable suspicion that you were driving your vehicle under the influence. All Vehicle Stops by Pennsylvania law enforcement officers must be supported by reasonable suspicion and comport with the Pennsylvania and United States Constitutions’ prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures. You also have the right to take your DUI case to trial. However, most first and second offense DUI’s are considered ungraded misdemeanors which carry a maximum penalty of six (6) months incarceration. You are NOT entitled to a jury trial on an ungraded misdemeanor. Ungraded misdemeanor cases will be decided by a judge. You are only entitled to a jury trial on a DUI charge if your case is graded as a misdemeanor first degree or misdemeanor of the second degree. The grading of your DUI offense is determined by your BAC and how many prior DUI’s you have had within the last 10 years. You may refer to our DUI Penalties page to determine the grading of your DUI charge.
If you are convicted of a DUI charge, this conviction will affect the rest of your life. You may serve jail time, your license will likely be suspended and the conviction will stay on your criminal record for most of your life. Jason R. Antoine is a former DUI prosecutor and experienced trial attorney with a track record for obtaining results. As an Assistant District Attorney, Mr. Antoine prosecuted 203 felony and misdemeanor cases and only 1 acquittal.*
To discuss your case with Jason R. Antoine, DUI defense attorney, contact us at (610) 299-0295 to schedule a free consultation.
Disclaimer: past results do not guarantee an outcome in a future case.