Chester County DUI Programs

ARD PROGRAM SUMMARY

The Chester County ARD program is managed by the District Attorney’s Office of Chester County.

To be eligible for the ARD-DUI program, you must 1) waive your preliminary hearing; 2) complete an ARD application at the preliminary hearing and submit it to the Assistant District Attorney (ADA) present; 3) waive formal arraignment; and 4) waive the filing of criminal information.

The Assistant District Attorney (ADA) at the preliminary hearing will give you an ARD hearing date in the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County (at the Chester County Justice Center in West Chester, PA). You will complete this application at the preliminary hearing and give it to the ADA. Your ARD hearing date will be scheduled approximately eight weeks from the day the ARD application is completed.

The ARD department of the DA’s Office will evaluate your ARD application. You will receive a letter from the DA’s Office in advance of your ARD date indicating whether you are approved or denied. If your application is approved, your ARD hearing will be held as scheduled. If your ARD application is denied, your ARD hearing date will then become your formal arraignment date. A criminal information will be filed and you will be prosecuted by law.

If your DUI-ARD application is approved and you fail to appear on the hearing date, your approval may be revoked, or you may receive additional license suspension and/or community service, or undergo other penalties.

Summary Offenses and the DUI-ARD Program

At the preliminary hearing, you must waive all vehicle code summary offenses involving Vehicle Registration, Title, Licensing, Motor Vehicle Equipment, and Inspection Requirement. In most instances, you will be required to plead guilty to these summary offenses on your ARD hearing date.

You must waive the preliminary hearing for all vehicle code summary offenses. This includes offenses such as speeding tickets, running stop signs/red lights (Failure to Obey Traffic Control Devices), failure to signal and Reckless and/or Careless Driving. You may be required to plead guilty to all or some of the summary offenses mentioned. Any summary offense to which you do not plead guilty to at the ARD hearing will be dismissed when you complete the DUI-ARD program.

You must also waive the preliminary hearing for all non-vehicle code summary offenses (i.e. – Disorderly Conduct, Harassment). In most cases, the Chester County DA’s Office will require you to plead guilty to these offenses, as well.

License Suspension For DUI Offenses:

BAC is .08 – .099 – no license suspension
BAC is .10 – .159 – 30 days license suspension
BAC is .16 – .299 – 60 days license suspension

If driving underage
– 90 days license suspension

If BAC is .30 or over
– 60 days license suspension and 1 year ignition interlock

If BAC is unknown or defendant is charged with Driving Under the Influence of Drugs
- 60 days suspension

If you have an accident involving bodily injury or property damage or vehicle damage
- 60 days suspension

Community Service

All ARD applicants in Chester County are assigned 50 community service hours. If the Chester County DUI Program and the prescribed treatment program, or 12 sessions toward the completion of such treatment at a state licensed addiction treatment provider, are completed within 60 days of the ARD hearing, the community service will be waived (NO pro-rating is permitted – either the Chester County DUI Program is completed within 60 days in full or you must complete all 50 hours of community service). Underage defendants will receive at least an additional 50 hours of non-waivable community service.

The District Attorney’s Office retains the right to increase the number of community service hours based on the facts of any case.

You will be Denied ARD in the Following Circumstances:
  1. YOU DO NOT WAIVE YOUR PRELIMINARY HEARING AND ALL PRE-TRIAL MOTIONS.
  2. You have a prior ARD placement or criminal conviction within the past 10 years.
  3. You have had a prior ARD/conviction within the prior 10 years.
  4. You have more than one prior DUI conviction, ARD placement, juvenile adjudication or criminal conviction.
  5. You have a prior felony conviction.
  6. An accident occurred with the offense and a person other than you was killed or suffered serious bodily injury.
  7. A minor under the age of 14 was present in your car at the time of arrest.
  8. You have a poor driving record.
  9. You did not answer the question truthfully in the ARD application asking you about your prior criminal record.
  10. If you drove 100 mph or more at the time of arrest
  11. No theft of $10,000 or above will be considered.
  12. This list is not exclusive. The DA’s Office reserves its right to deny you admission into the ARD program on a case by case basis.

Requirements for all DUI-ARD Candidates

You must immediately call the Chester County DUI Program to set up an appointment for the Court Reporting Network Evaluation (CRN).

Chester County DUI Program
201 West Market Street, Suite 4101
West Chester, PA 19380
P: 610-344-6800
F: 610-344-4243

My office recommends that you contact Chester County DUI Program immediately after your preliminary hearing, or at a minimum, the day you receive your ARD acceptance letter.

Chester County DUI Program evaluates you to determine if you are addicted to alcohol or any controlled substance. If the Chester County DUI Program prescribes treatment, you must successfully complete treatment as part of the DUI-ARD program.

You must attend and successfully complete an approved alcohol highway safety school.

YOU MUST PAY A $275.00 FEE AT ADULT PROBATION BEFORE THE MORNING OF YOUR SCHEDULED ARD HEARING. YOU WILL NOT BE PLACED IN THE ARD PROGRAM UNTIL THIS FEE IS PAID IN FULL.

If monetary restitution is a condition of your ARD admission, restitution must be paid or you will be removed from the program.

The length of the DUI-ARD program will be one year if your BAC was .30 or greater, and six months if it was less.

You must NOT drink any alcoholic beverages the day of your ARD hearing.

Comply with all Bail Conditions

You must contact the Chester County Bail Agency within 24 hours of applying for the ARD Program, and you must comply with all bail conditions. If you violate a condition of your bail you may be denied ARD or risk an increase in license suspension and/or community service hours.

CHESTER COUNTY BAIL AGENCY

201 West Market Street
Suite 2300, 2nd Floor
P.O. Box 2746
West Chester, PA 19380-0989
(610) 344-6886

Approximate Costs for DUI-ARD Candidates

6 Months Supervision – $1,138.65 plus $275.00 program fee

12 Months Supervision – $1,463.65 plus $275.00 program fee

If treatment is recommended by Adult Probation, the minimum program will be 12 outpatient sessions at a state licensed addiction treatment provider casting approximately $400.00

***Pleading guilty to summary offenses will result in additional fines***

The $275.00 Chester County DUI Program fee must be paid directly to Chester County DUI Program before the morning of your ARD hearing. All other fees and costs must be paid in full on or before the morning of your ARD hearing. If you have not paid all of your fees and costs in full on or before the day of the ARD hearing you will not be admitted, unless the DA’s Office and the Court approves. The Adult Probation Department collections unit does accept Visa, MasterCard, and MAC.