The criminal penalties even for one DUI in Pennsylvania are steep.
While a first-time DUI with no aggravating circumstances will not require jail time, it is still a criminal conviction. Furthermore, any prior DUIs will make the punishments harsher.
Pennsylvania also punishes those with higher BAC levels, over .10 and again over .16, more harshly. Notably, the law also imposes more serious penalties on commercial drivers.
Those who drive for a living, or even as a regular part of their jobs, should think twice before pleading guilty even to their first DUI for other reasons as well.
For one, those with a CDL will lose the privilege of driving commercial vehicles for 1 year. This is true even if it is the person’s first offense and even if it happened in their private vehicle.
The penalty also applies even if the person avoids a license suspension from the court or gets some sort of hardship license. Basically, a person with a DUI who relies on their CDL to make a living will have to find another way of making income for a year.
Others who drive regularly, whether they hold a CDL or not, may also find it hard to continue earning a living.
Businesses are usually very conscious both of their safety records and their insurance premiums. Many will simply not be willing to keep someone on the payroll if their job duties include regular driving and they have a DUI.
Other professionals may also face fallout even for a single DUI
After a DUI, those in other licensed trades and professions may also run into additional legal trouble outside the criminal court system.
Many professions will take licensing actions against those who get convicted of drunk driving. Again, it usually does not matter whether the DUI happened while a person was working in their profession or was on their personal time.
At a minimum, these licensing actions can lead to embarrassment and a tarnished reputation.
Even one DUI charge can negatively affect a Lancaster County resident’s employment opportunities. Those facing a DUI case should make sure they understand their options and available defenses.