When people choose to drink and drive, their poor decision may have a number of consequences. For instance, they may lose their driver’s license or spend time in jail. However, the most harmful drunk driving result is that a driver may cause injury or death to another person. Because of the dire possibilities, there are significant penalties in place in the state of Pennsylvania.
Drunk Driving Penalties
In Pennsylvania, the penalties for driving while intoxicated include a suspended driver’s license, revoking the convicted person’s right to drive, fines and prison time.
Penalties for Drivers with High Blood Alcohol Levels
If a police officer pulls a person over for driving while intoxicated and the driver’s blood alcohol tests are at least 0.10 but lower than 0.16, then the driver will face penalties for a high blood alcohol level.
When it is a first-time offence, the driver will have a minimum prison sentence of 48 hours while the fine will vary from $500 to $5,000. During a second transgression, the driver will spend at least 30 days in jail while the fine charged is from $750 to $5,000.
If a person drives with a high blood alcohol level for a third time, then the state requires that they receive jail time for at least 90 days. In addition, they will pay a fine from $1,500 to $10,000. A fourth high blood alcohol offence will result in the driver facing at least one year of imprisonment. Furthermore, they will pay a fine that varies from $1,500 to $10,000.
All drivers with high blood alcohol levels must complete their judge’s drug and alcohol treatment conditions. Furthermore, it is a requirement that the driver attends safety school, and they may face up to 150 hours of community service.
Consequences for General Alcohol Impairment
When a law official suspects a driver of operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, the officer will give the driver a blood alcohol test. If the test returns with a result of at least 0.08 and is lower than 0.10, then the state will consider the driver general alcohol impaired.
A first-time lawbreaker will receive six months of probation along with a $300 fine. In addition, the offender must attend the state’s highway safety training while agreeing to his or her judges sentencing regarding drug and alcohol treatments. With general alcohol impairment, drivers may also face community service time.
If a person is caught driving a car while generally impaired a second time, then he or she will receive a minimum five-day jail sentence. In addition, the convicted driver will pay a fine from $300 to $2,500 and will face training at a state approved safe driving school. Once again, a judge may require that the drunk driver complete up to 150 hours of community service.
With a third violation, the driver will face at least 10 days in jail and will pay a fine from $500 to $5,000. He or she may receive community service time and must complete the drug and alcohol treatment conditions that his or her judge decides.
Limited Tort Waiver Restrictions in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania includes an insurance provision that gives drivers the opportunity to select a limited tort waiver. With a limited tort policy, drivers cannot sue an at fault driver for the pain and suffering caused by an automobile accident. However, the provision is exempt when the at fault driver tests positive during a blood alcohol test. Pennsylvania drivers should keep in mind that they can only sue the driver if the state convicts them of the crime.
When people choose to drink and drive, they are inflicting their will on the innocent. Moreover, their harmful decision can cause irreparable damage to themselves and others