A majority of people who are charged with a crime in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, especially in the counties surrounding Philadelphia, are charged with driving after imbibing, or as it more commonly known, driving under the influence. This crime carries a graduated penalty, based on your blood alcohol level and the number of times you have been arrested within a ten year period. The ten year period begins on the date of conviction, not arrest. I have linked a chart setting forth the various penalties involved with a DUI conviction.
Since the amendment of the Dill statute by the Pennsylvania legislature in 2004, the penalties for a violation of the statute have become more severe. That is why it is important that you make sure that you have skilled and knowledgeable representation throughout the judicial process. You must make sure that the stop of your vehicle was within the law and any search or request for a blood or breath sample following the stop was proper. Failure to follow proper procedure can result in the Court’s elimination of evidence of your blood alcohol level at the time you were driving, hindering or preventing your prosecution.
Although the jail sentences involved following a conviction are severe, often times the loss of driving privileges associated with the conviction are worse. Depending on the number of convictions, you could face the loss of your driving privileges for up to eighteen months and be required to install a breath testing device in your automobile after your driving privileges are restored. You will be required to keep the device in your vehicle for one year.