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Pennsylvania DUI Charges

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a criminal offense in Pennsylvania. If you are convicted of DUI in Pennsylvania, you may face fines, suspension or revocation of your license, increased insurance rates, loss of employment, and even jail time.

Driving under the influence, or DUI, is a complex charge with severe penalties for those convicted. Pennsylvania DUI laws were last updated in 2004, and cases involving DUI are based on the results of blood-alcohol content testing as well as field sobriety tests.


Like many states, Pennsylvania has a legal blood-alcohol content, or BAC, of 0.08 percent. You may be charged with a DUI if you drive with a BAC of 0.08 percent or greater. Failure to submit to a blood test, breath test, urine test, or field sobriety tests may result in separate charges. DUI penalties also increase when you have a BAC over 0.10 percent, have previous DUI convictions, or are involved in a DUI-related accident.

An experienced DUI lawyer understands the ins and outs of Pennsylvania DUI law and will work diligently to achieve a successful resolution to your case. If you have been charged with a DUI in Pennsylvania, it is essential to attain an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible to begin working on your case.

Three Tiers of Pennsylvania DUI Laws Based on BAC Levels

  • General Impairment – According to Pennsylvania law, a person is only allowed to operate a motor vehicle if they are able to safely operate it. As dictated by state law, anyone with a BAC between 0.08 percent and 0.10 percent is legally intoxicated. Law enforcement officers can obtain a driver’s BAC by breath test or blood test, but either test must be administered within two hours after an individual has driven a motor vehicle.
  • High Rate of Alcohol – A person driving in Pennsylvania can be found to be driving under the influence of a high rate of alcohol if they have a BAC between 0.10 percent and 0.16 percent. Again, a breath or blood test must be performed within two hours of operating a vehicle.
  • Highest Rate of Alcohol – Considered an extreme DUI, a driver may receive a DUI charge with the highest rate of alcohol if they have a BAC of 0.16 or greater.

Laws Pertaining to the Refusal of BAC Tests

The state of Pennsylvania operates within the boundaries of implied consent. Therefore, anyone driving on Pennsylvania roads automatically agrees to submit to a urine, blood, or breath test. The test is typically requested and administered by law enforcement officers during a traffic stop to determine the amount of alcohol or drugs in a driver’s blood stream.

Refusal to submit to any of these tests after being pulled over is illegal in Pennsylvania and automatically results in additional charges. In addition to added charges, refusal to submit to a urine, blood, or alcohol test will also lead the suspension of your driver’s license for a minimum of one year.

Contact an Experienced DUI Defense Attorney

If you are charged with a DUI in the state of Pennsylvania, you should immediately consult with a respected and experienced attorney who will diligently represent you throughout the legal process, provide in-depth analysis of your case, and strategically develop the best possible defense. Every DUI case is different, but an attorney who specializes in DUI defense can provide you with the best defense possible for your case.

Our experienced team of diligent DUI attorneys has extensive experience in defending DUI cases throughout Pennsylvania and the greater tri-state area. We have helped defend countless DUI cases and have witnessed tremendous success obtaining not guilty trial verdicts, as well as pleading down cases to lesser offenses.

With years of experience dealing with Pennsylvania DUI laws, our attorneys are well-versed in the types of BAC and field sobriety tests administered by Pennsylvania police and the procedures that must be followed for charges to be deemed valid. After thoroughly reviewing your case, we can provide advice regarding any legal challenges, determine if your rights have been violated, and construct the best defense possible for your case.

DUI is a serious criminal offense that often has long-term consequences for those convicted. If you are a Pennsylvania resident or out-of-state driver who has been charged with DUI in the Keystone State, you need the help of Philadelphia criminal attorneys who specialize in DUI defense. Please contact us today for a confidential consultation.

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