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My BAC was higher than .08 -- is that a drunk driving felony?

Allegations of driving under the influence are no small matter, particularly when they involve serious accusations. In Pennsylvania, drunk driving charges are filed as one of three levels. Drivers may be charged with General Impairment, High BAC or Highest BAC. Each has its own requirements for charges, and punishments vary between each.

Driver facing homicide by vehicle and drunk driving charges

Race-car drivers are typically noted for maintaining impeccable control of their vehicles, even when they travel at high rates of speed. However, speeds that are acceptable on a race track are not advised on Pennsylvania streets, roads and highways. When alcohol is combined with speeding, accidents are more prone to occur. A Manheim Township race-car driver faces charges of homicide by vehicle and drunk driving, among others, following a crash that claimed the life of his girlfriend late in Oct. 2017.

Multiple drunk driving charges in Newtown Township

Pennsylvania roads and highways are busy at all times of the day and night. Drivers need to be alert and focused to travel safely and avoid being involved in accidents. Having some drinks or taking drugs can affect someone's reaction times and reflexes and may lead to possible accidents. Recent crashes in Newtown Township have led to multiple drunk driving charges against the motorists involved.

Man charged with drunk driving after hitting multiple vehicles

Most Pennsylvania residents park their cars at the end of the day and likely don't give them much thought until the next morning. By 10 p.m., many people are turning in for the night and won't be needing their vehicles for a while. However, several neighbors in South Philadelphia were recently startled to find that their parked cars were being damaged late one evening. As a result of the damage caused, a man who lives nearby has been charged with suspected drunk driving.

State looks at programs to reduce repeat drunk driving incidents

When a Pennsylvania resident is charged with driving under the influence, his or her life is immediately affected. A drunk driving conviction can result in loss of license, fines, interlocks on vehicles, probation or even time in jail. Most of the people who are arrested for their first DUI will never be charged with another incident again. However, statistics show that there are drivers that will be stopped again for driving under the influence. Officials from the state district attorney's association recommend adopting a new approach to reduce the number of drivers involved in repeat DUI incidents.

Are field sobriety tests part of every drunk driving arrest?

Being pulled over by the police is rarely a good experience, but it can be especially stressful when a person is accused of driving under the influence. When Pennsylvania police believe that someone is drunk driving, they will usually ask that he or she participate in a series of field sobriety tests. These are a series of physical and verbal tasks that most people will be asked to undergo before determining if more advanced testing -- such as a Breathalyzer -- is necessary, or if there is probable cause for an arrest.

Underage drunk driving has serious consequences

In order to receive a Pennsylvania driver's license, individuals must not only demonstrate the ability to safely driver a motor vehicle, but also a basic knowledge of the laws that govern the road, including DUI laws. However, everyone makes mistakes, and a person's life should not be derailed by one misstep along the way. Nevertheless, penalties can be especially severe for underaged drivers facing drunk driving charges.

Drunk driving consequences dependent on BAC

All DUI charges are serious and should be treated as such, but the severity of potential consequences can vary. Pennsylvania takes a tiered approach to drunk driving, with three different levels based on a person's blood-alcohol content at the time of their arrest. The three levels are general impairment, high BAC and highest BAC, with penalties varying greatly even for first-time offenders.

New court ruling may impact other drunk driving cases

If a person is suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol, a blood alcohol test may be requested by authorities. Although suspects have the right to refuse a blood draw, a refusal could result in a suspension of their driver's license in addition to other consequences. If a suspect is unconscious, they no longer have the ability to refuse the blood test, and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently ruled that authorities must obtain a warrant to perform a blood draw on anyone unresponsive. Drunk driving cases across the state may be impacted by the ruling.

What to do if stopped by police

There may be occasions when you are the subject of a law enforcement investigation. This can occur if you are stopped in your car. It can occur as the result of an accusation being made by another. If you believe that you are the subject of a law enforcement investigation, there are certain steps that you should take to protect yourself.

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