Pennsylvania DUI law changed in October of 2003 when the allowable BAC was lowered from .10% to a BAC of .08%. Then on February 1, 2004, a series of new penalties went into effect for those who get convicted of Pennsylvania DUI (or driving under the influence in Pennsylvania). The new penalties fall into a new three tier punishment system throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Tier 1 is considered General Impairment. General impairment is meant to describe those with BAC levels between .08% and .099%, and no property damage resulting from the DUI offense.
Tier 2 is considered a high rate of blood alcohol. This is for those with BAC levels between .10% and .159% (the BAC level must be measured within 2 hours of actually operating the vehicle), and those with resultant property damage or personal injury from the DUI offense. Even those with General Impairment BAC levels (less than .10%) can be placed in the Tier 2 category if there was property damage or personal injury.
Commercial drivers with a .04% BAC level and above and minors (under age 21) with BAC levels at or above .02% will also be considered Tier 2.
Tier 3 is reserved for the highest BAC level offenders. A Blood Alcohol Concentration of .16% or greater that is measured within 2 hours of operating a motor vehicle will land you in a Tier 3 status. Anyone who refuses to submit to a chemical test and have their BAC measured will be placed into Tier 3 status as well. In addition to a high BAC, any illegal drug(s) (if prescription drugs you must have a valid prescription) will also land you in Tier 3 status.
In Pennsylvania, there’s another route for dealing with a DUI called the ARD program. ARD stands for Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition. This program is for first-time offenders, including DUI offenders, who would like to avoid the lengthy process of a trial and accept some alternate consequences.
If this DUI is your first offense, you may be eligible for the ARD program in Pennsylvania. If this isn’t your first DUI, you won’t be eligible for the program.
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SR22 auto insurance is required in the state of Pennsylvania after a DUI conviction. This type of insurance is classified as 'high risk' meaning you are a higher risk to the insurance companies so consequently they will charge more for taking on more risk. This can get very expensive if you sign up for one of these policies with the wrong company.
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