Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

DUI – Explaination

“DUI”– what is it? Under Pennsylvania law, there are five main subsections of the law against ‘driving under the influence’. Three of those subsections reflect the different levels of intoxication, i.e. the BAC, or blood alcohol content, the motorist was under while driving.

The other two subsections are to cover 1. the situation where a motorist is impaired not by alcohol, but by a “controlled substance” that would tend to impair a driver’s judgment or reflexes and 2. treatment of minors.

As will be seen, the laws can be very confusing. And they certainly don’t explain a driver’s constitutional rights. Which is why the assistance of a criminal defense attorney well versed in these matters is invaluable to you. So call us today at 412-373-5578 so that your rights will be properly protected.

So here is the exact language of the Pennsylvania statute governing DUI:

  • 3802. Driving under influence of alcohol or controlled substance.

(a)  General impairment.

(1)       An individual may not drive, operate or be in actual physical control of the movement of a vehicle after imbibing a sufficient amount of alcohol such that the individual is rendered incapable of safely driving…the vehicle.

  • An individual may not drive…a vehicle after imbibing a sufficient amount of alcohol such that the alcohol concentration in the individual’s blood or breath is at least 0.08% but less than 0.10% within two hours after the individual has driven…the vehicle.

(b) High rate of alcohol.–An individual may not drive…a vehicle after imbibing a sufficient amount of alcohol such that the alcohol concentration in the individual’s blood or breath is at least 0.10% but less than 0.16% within two hours after the individual has driven…the vehicle.

(c) Highest rate of alcohol.–An individual may not drive…a vehicle after imbibing a sufficient amount of alcohol such that the alcohol concentration in the individual’s blood or breath is 0.16% or higher within two hours after the individual has driven…the vehicle.

(d) Controlled substances.–An individual may not drive…a vehicle under any of the following circumstances:

There is in the individual’s blood any amount of…

(omitted here for brevity, the statute goes on to list the various categories of prohibited controlled substances.

(e) Minors.–A minor may not drive…a vehicle after imbibing a sufficient amount of alcohol such that the alcohol concentration in the minor’s blood or breath is 0.02% or higher within two hours after the minor has driven…the vehicle.

The sections that immediately follow § 3802 set forth the grading and penalties for each of the subsections. As you would expect, the higher the blood alcohol level, the more severe the penalty and, for subsequent (second, third etc.) offenses, the penalties likewise become more severe.

Those penalties include large fines, license suspensions and, in some cases, jail time. It would therefore be highly risky to face such charges without the help of a competent, experienced criminal defense attorney. If you or a loved one has been charged with DUI, don’t go it alone! Get an experienced professional on your side, and call the law offices of David Romito, Esq. today at 412-373-5578. We are standing by to help and serve you in your time of need.