If you have been arrested for drunk driving and your blood alcohol content (BAC) is at least. 08 percent, a conviction for a first offense may result in probation for up to six months, a maximum $300 fine, and alcohol safety school and substance abuse treatment. However, if there are certain aggravating factors involved, a first-time DUI can lead to increased penalties or even a felony charge.
The following are several aggravating factors in a Pennsylvania DUI:
- High BAC – If you are found with a BAC higher than .099 percent, you could face increased penalties. For example, having a BAC of at least .10 percent can result in a maximum six-month jail term (with a minimum 48-hour sentence), fines of up to $5,000 (with a minimum of $500), and driver’s license suspension for up to one year. If your BAC was at least .15 percent, the minimum jail sentence is 72 hours and the minimum fine is $1,000.
- Minor passenger in the vehicle – If you are arrested for DUI and there is a minor under 18 years old in your vehicle, you will be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor in addition to the other penalties associated with drunk driving. A conviction for a first-degree misdemeanor carries a maximum five-year jail sentence, a fine no more than $10,000 (with a mandatory minimum of $1,000), driver’s license suspension for up to 18 months, and up to 100 hours of community service.
- DUI with Injury – If someone suffered a serious injury in an accident as a result of your drunk driving, you could be charged with aggravated assault while under the influence. This offense is a second-degree felony, which carries a prison sentence of up to 10 years and a maximum $25,000 fine.
- Homicide DUI – If someone died in an accident as a result of your drunk driving, you could be charged with DUI homicide, which is also a second-degree felony. However, this offense carries a mandatory minimum of three years imprisonment and a maximum $25,000 fine—for everyone who died.