Drunk driving is aggressively policed across Pennsylvania. Therefore, many individuals who are subjected to a traffic stop are also subjected to field sobriety tests. Others are forced to take these tests, in addition to a breathalyzer test, after being chosen for closer inspection at a DUI checkpoint. Regardless of how allegations of drunk driving come about, they need to be treated seriously. After all, a criminal conviction for drunk driving can have a tremendously detrimental impact on one's life.
The law spells out the penalties to be imposed on those who receive DUI convictions. Individuals who have no prior drunk driving convictions may wind up facing up to six months in jail, a fine of $300 and even alcohol treatment. Those who have a prior offense can see penalties increased to include a yearlong driver's license suspension as well six months in jail, a fine of up to $2,500 and the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device.
The level an individual is determined to be intoxicated at can play a significant role in the penalties assessed, too. For example, those who have one prior DUI and then are convicted of drunk driving with a BAC of .16 percent or higher can face up to five years in prison, $10,000 in fines, a license suspension of up to a year-and-a-half and alcohol treatment. Of course, those with multiple offenses and those convicted of drunk driving that causes harm to others will face even more severe penalties.
There are many elements to a drunk driving case, all of which must be proven by a prosecutor. If any reasonable doubt arises, then an individual should be acquitted. To learn more about how to put forth a criminal defense that seeks to raise reasonable doubt, accused individuals should speak with an experienced and competent Pittsburgh attorney. This could help reduce and even dismiss the charges against the accused.