There are a number of different ways in which law enforcement officers in the field and prosecutors in a courtroom might try to prove that somebody was driving while impaired by alcohol.
An officer’s interaction with an individual, their performance on a field sobriety test and testing results that show a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher could all help validate a driving under the influence (DUI) arrest or charge.
Pennsylvania has 3 categories for BAC
The exact level of alcohol in someone’s bloodstream at the time of their arrest will directly influence what charges and penalties they face. Anyone with a blood alcohol concentration over the legal limit will face charges, but when someone’s BAC is 0.10% or higher, the penalties increase.
A first-time, standard DUI charge could carry misdemeanor charges that result in probation, a $300 fine and possibly alcohol education or treatment. Those penalties will increase to between two days and six months in prison, a fine of up to $5,000 and a 12-month license suspension for someone with a BAC of 0.10% or higher.
For those with an extremely high BAC of 0.16% or higher, those first-time penalties include between three days and six months in prison, a $1,000 minimum fine and a 12-month license suspension. For repeat offenses, the penalties for each category of BAC increase.
A DUI defense is especially important for those accused of having a high BAC
Given that the penalties increase with the level of alcohol in someone’s bloodstream, the higher police claim your BAC was at the time of your arrest, the more critical defending yourself becomes.
From calling the chemical test itself into question to providing alternative explanations for behavior, such as a medical condition, there are multiple ways in which someone accused of a DUI could potentially defend themselves.