A DUI conviction can drastically change your manner of living. In Pennsylvania, the most extreme multiple offenses can result in fines as much as $10,000, up to five years in prison, and loss of license for up to 18 months.
More than 20,000 DUI arrests occur every year in Pennsylvania, and the rate of arrest has been rising. With more people getting a DUI each year, spreading information about the consequences of a first offense may help reduce the rate of arrests in the future.
The consequences of a first offense
The severity of the consequences of a first offense depends on the severity of the DUI. The higher the blood alcohol level (BAC) in a driver, the worse the DUI consequences can be. If the defendant’s (BAC) is only between .08 and .99, their consequences can result in:
- $300 in fines
- A maximum of half a year of probation
For a BAC of .10 and higher, the consequences can be:
- One year of license suspension
- Up to six months in prison
- Up to $5,000 in fines
Regardless of the defendant’s BAC, the charges for a first offense qualify as an ungraded misdemeanor. The judge can also assign the defendant to attend mandatory treatment and highway safety school classes.
Avoid the charges altogether
The best way of avoiding a DUI conviction is by not driving under the influence at all. A first conviction also makes any repeat offenses much more severe and more challenging to beat the charges. A risky drive home can result in the loss of thousands of dollars and up to half a year in prison. Avoid these consequences by calling a friend or rideshare for a safe trip home.