Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can make motorists more likely to commit other traffic-related offenses. Furthermore, in some DUI cases, defendants can instead plead guilty to a charge of reckless driving.
If you are facing a DUI charge, you should understand how reckless driving works in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania DUI law
It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle if you have a blood alcohol concentration over .08 or are under the influence of drugs. First-time DUI offenders in Pennsylvania often receive a fine and probation. Multiple DUIs can result in more serious punishments, including license suspensions and jail time. You could also face a harsher sentence if you were severely intoxicated at the time of your arrest.
Reckless driving charges
In some cases, defendants in DUI cases have the opportunity to plead guilty to reckless driving charges instead. In Pennsylvania, reckless driving refers to willful traffic violations, including speeding and making illegal maneuvers. By contrast, careless driving charges cover negligence and traffic offenses made by mistake.
If you receive a reckless driving charge, you could have to pay a fine and face a six-month license suspension. However, a reckless driving charge does not count as a prior DUI charge on your record. Depending on the evidence and your level of intoxication, you could receive a more favorable legal outcome by pleading guilty to reckless driving instead of DUI.
When facing a DUI charge, it is important to understand your legal options. Reckless driving charges can have a significant impact on your DUI case.