In all 50 states, driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher is considered driving under the influence. Pennsylvania, however, is unique in that it adopted a three-tier system that implemented three levels of DUI enforcement.

The first level is general impairment for BAC levels of 0.08 to 0.099. For those convicted of general impairment, and with no prior DUI offenses, they may face up to six months of probation and a $300 fine, as well as an order to attend alcohol safety school and treatment when necessary.

The second level is referred to as High BAC for BAC levels of 0.10 to 0.159. Those convicted of this level of DUI, with no prior offenses, will face a 12-month license suspension, anywhere from two days to six months in jail, and a fine of $500 to $5,000, as well as an order to attend school and treatment if needed.

The third level of DUI is referred to as Highest BAC for drivers with BAC levels of 0.16 or higher, or a controlled substance. Drivers who refuse to submit to a Breathalyzer or chemical testing may also face Highest BAC penalties. The penalties for drivers without a prior offense include a 12-month license suspension, 72 hours to six months in jail and a fine of $1,000 to $5,000, plus an order to attend school and treatment if needed.

No matter what level of DUI charge you face, the penalties can be serious and can affect your life for years to come. A sound criminal defense strategy may be able to help reduce your charges and save you from these harsh penalties.