When you drink alcohol and drive a vehicle, you could get arrested for driving under the influence. If convicted, you could face jail time, fines, loss of driving privileges and other consequences for this charge.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania made it illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content level at or above 0.08% (instead of 0.10%) in 2003. There are also three levels of DUI that impact the penalties you face if convicted.
1. General impairment
You are generally impaired if your BAC level is between 0.08% to 0.099% at the time of the DUI arrest. This crime is an ungraded offense for your first and second convictions, but after two or more offenses, a DUI under the general impairment category becomes a second-degree misdemeanor. The most severe penalties for driving with a BAC level in the General Impairment category include 12 months of license suspension, between five days and six months of jail time and a $500 to $5,000 fine.
2. High BAC
You can get arrested for having a High BAC if your BAC level is between 0.10% to 0.159% at the time of the arrest. If you have three or more prior DUI offenses that fall into this category, you could be subject to 18 months of license suspension, up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
3. Highest BAC
If you drive with a BAC level of 0.16% or higher, you are subject to the penalties for a Highest BAC. If you commit this crime two or more times, you are also face 18 months of license suspension, up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.