Drinking and driving is dangerous enough on its own, but the higher the driver’s BAC (blood alcohol content), the greater their risk of a serious accident. Pennsylvania’s legislators have created a complex system that includes increased penalties for those with elevated BAC readings. If someone is stopped for suspected drunk driving, they should know these facts when calling a DUI law firm in Lancaster County, PA.
Sobriety Testing and Implied Consent
Defense lawyers say that knowing the law can help drivers avoid convictions in some cases. When asked to submit to chemical testing to assess BAC, drivers must cooperate. Under Pennsylvania’s implied consent law, drivers agree to comply with testing when they obtain a license. However, implied consent does not extend to field sobriety testing, which many attorneys say is flawed.
Refusing Chemical Testing
Most lawyers say that there’s no benefit to refusing chemical testing. Under the state’s laws, drivers will lose their licenses for one year regardless of the results obtained when they go to trial. It’s common for a driver to receive a DUI conviction without BAC measurements based on officers’ testimony and the refusal of chemical testing, which prosecutors point to as a sign of guilt.
Expect to Be Recorded
A driver should assume everything they do and say will be recorded during a DUI stop. Therefore, doing and saying as little as possible are the best courses of action. While it’s necessary to be polite and cooperative, it’s acceptable to decline further conversation after identification, insurance documents, and registration proof has been provided.
Pennsylvania DUI Penalties
For an initial conviction at the state’s lowest BAC penalty tier, penalties include no license suspension and a fine of $300. Second offenses within ten years are punishable by up to six months in jail, a fine of up to $2500, and a license suspension. Third offenses are punished by at least ten days in jail, a $5000 fine, and a license suspension of one year. Alcohol education and community service are typically a part of most DUI sentences.
Getting a DUI may result in serious penalties, but it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. With the help of a DUI law firm in Lancaster County, PA, drivers can move past the penalty and rebuild their lives. Call the Law Office of Melissa R. Montgomery to schedule a consultation.