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Things to Know if Charged with a Pittsburgh DUI



Driving under the influence, or DUI, is a serious offense. If you are charged with a Pittsburgh DUI, you will want to educate yourself on Pittsburgh DUI law.

This article will explain what you should know if charged with a Pittsburgh DUI. If you have questions specific to your case, you should contact a Pittsburgh DUI attorney.

Attorneys.com can help you find a Pittsburgh DUI attorney near you. Whether you were charged with DUI in Garfield, Highland Park, Polish Hill or another part of Pittsburgh, Attorneys.com can connect you with a DUI lawyer near you. Just call 1-877-913-7222, or fill out the form on this site. After answering a few questions, Attorneys.com will provide you with the contact information of at least one Pittsburgh-area DUI attorney. The lawyer will contact you within two business days, or you can reach out to him at your own convenience.

What Is a Pittsburgh DUI?

In Pittsburgh, the offense of driving under the influence is known as DUI. In other jurisdictions, this same offense is referred to as DWI, or driving while intoxicated. Therefore, a Pittsburgh DUI and a Pittsburgh DWI are the same charge.

You will be charged with committing a Pittsburgh DUI if your blood-alcohol content (or BAC) is .08 or higher. BAC is the measure of alcohol in your blood. A measurement of .08 means your blood contains .08 of a percent of alcohol.

You may also be charged with DUI if your BAC is less than .08. If an officer determines that your driving is significantly impaired due to intoxication, regardless of your BAC, he can arrest you on suspicion of driving drunk.

Additionally, if you are a commercial driver, the legal BAC level is lowered to .04. Those under 21 cannot legally drive with a BAC of .02 or greater.

Factors That Affect Pittsburgh DUI Penalties

The penalties for committing a Pittsburgh DUI vary depending on a number of factors.

For example, the more DUI convictions you have on your record, the more severe your DUI penalties. Likewise, the higher your BAC, the greater the penalty. In Pittsburgh, there are three tiers of BAC penalties. They are:

  • General impairment penalties: Those with BACs of .08 to .099
  • High BAC penalties: Those with BACs of .1 to .159
  • Highest BAC penalties: Those with BACs of .16 and higher

This means that someone with a BAC of .14 may suffer greater punishment than someone with a BAC of .09.

Pittsburgh DUI Penalties

The following penalties apply to your first DUI conviction with a BAC between .08 to .099:

  • Six months probation
  • A $300 fine

For those with a BAC between .1 and .159, the penalties are:

  • Between two days and six months in jail
  • Fines between $500 and $5,000
  • License suspension for a year

For those with a BAC of .16 and higher, the penalties are:

  • Three days to six months in jail
  • Fines between $1,000 and $5,000
  • License suspension for a year
  • Alcohol highway safety school

For your second DUI offense, you may face even stricter penalties. Possible penalties for those with a BAC between .08 and .099 are:

  • Five days to six months in jail
  • Fines between $300 and $2,500
  • License suspension for one year

For those with a BAC between .1 and .159, the penalties are:

  • 30 days to six months in jail
  • Fines between $750 and $5,000
  • License suspension for one year

For those with a BAC of .16 or higher, the penalties are:

  • 90 days to five years in jail.
  • A minimum fine of $1,500.
  • License suspension for 18 months.
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device prior to license reinstatement. An ignition interlock device is a mechanism that will not allow a car to start unless the driver's BAC is below a certain limit.
  • Alcohol highway safety school.

A third DUI offense with a BAC between .08 and .099 warrants the following penalties:

  • 10 days to two years in jail
  • Fines between $500 and $5,000
  • License suspension for a year

For those with a BAC between .1 and .159, the penalties are:

  • 90 days to five years in jail
  • Fines between $1,500 and $10,000
  • License suspension for 18 months

For those with a BAC of .16 or greater, the penalties are:

  • One to five years in jail
  • A minimum fine of $2,500
  • License suspension for 18 months
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device prior to license reinstatement

Your Rights After a DUI Arrest

After you have been arrested on suspicion of committing a Pittsburgh DUI, you retain several rights.

First, you have the right to remain silent. This means you do not have to answer any questions from investigators or law enforcement without an attorney present. This is to help prevent you from incriminating yourself.

However, if asked to submit to a BAC test, whether it is breath, blood or chemical, you will suffer immediate penalties if you refuse. This is because Pennsylvania has an implied consent law that requires all drivers to submit to such tests when suspected of driving under the influence.

You also retain the right to an attorney. If you do not already have an attorney, you should try to hire one prior to your DUI trial. If you are incarcerated and are unable to find an attorney on your own, you can entrust a friend or family member to investigate Pittsburgh DUI lawyers on your behalf.