Philadelphia Area Councilman Arrested for Third DUI
A councilman from Lansdowne is facing severe penalties after his third conviction for DUI in the last 10 years, according to a recent article in the Delaware County Daily Times. A Philadelphia Municipal Court Judge issued 30-day house arrest sentence as a mandatory minimum under Pennsylvania law; the man also faces a 12-month driver’s license suspension and high fines at the next phase of sentencing, which continues on June 26, 2017. The current proceedings date back to an incident in October 2016, where the councilman was arrested for two charges of DUI. His prior convictions were in 2007 and 2015. Pennsylvania law treats a third or subsequent drunk driving arrest very seriously, so it’s critical to retain a skilled DUI defense lawyer to fight for your rights.
Your Blood Alcohol Concentration Matters
There are three levels of impairment under state law, which use a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test to determine the amount of alcohol in your system.
- General Impairment: The lowest BAC for purposes of drunk driving is between .08 percent and .10 percent, measured within two hours after you were operating a vehicle.
- High Rate of Alcohol: This level covers a BAC that’s at least .10 percent, but less than .16 percent; and,
- Highest Rate of Alcohol: Any BAC in excess of .16 percent is the highest level under Pennsylvania law.
Since driving drunk is a crime, there are serious penalties for a DUI conviction – which are extremely severe in the case of a third-time offense.
For general impairment, you’re facing a mandatory minimum of 10 days in jail and a maximum of two years in prison. There are also fines that could reach $5,000, and you could be required to complete an alcohol highway safety school and/or an abuse treatment program.
If you’re convicted of high rate of alcohol DUI, you will be sentenced to at least 90 days in jail and up to five years’ imprisonment. Your maximum fine could be $10,000, along with the requirement to complete safety and/or abuse treatment programs.
The highest rate of alcohol DUI conviction carries a sentence of at least a year in prison and a maximum sentence of five years. Your minimum fine is $2,500 and you must complete a safety school program.
Consequences for Your Driving Privileges
There are also administrative penalties for a third DUI conviction, which impact your ability to legally drive. You must install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle for 12 months, and your license will be suspended. For general impairment, the suspension is one year; for higher rates of alcohol, your driving privileges are suspended for 18 months.
Trust a Pennsylvania DUI Lawyer for Your Defense
Any drunk driving charge is a serious matter under Pennsylvania law, but a third arrest for DUI can lead to extremely harsh penalties. The laws and procedural rules are complicated, so it’s wise to trust an experienced lawyer to represent your interests and present all available defenses. An attorney can help you navigate the process and work to obtain the best possible outcome under the law. For more information on multiple DUI offenses, please contact the Skinner Law Firm in West Chester, PA. We can answer your questions or schedule a consultation to discuss your options.