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Harrisburg Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Blog

Unexpected consequences of a DUI for college students

If you’re a college student, it’s likely you’ve experienced the pressure to go out on the weekends and maybe have a few drinks. College can be a stressful time, and there’s nothing wrong with having a little fun. Unfortunately, it’s very possible to have too much fun and make a mistake. If you’re in college and you’re caught drinking and driving, the consequences can be severe.

The police will usually report your DUI to your college. Depending on which college you go to, a number of opportunities could be taken away from you.

Ignition interlock devices make a DUI even more costly

How would you feel about having to take a breathalyzer test each time you started your vehicle? That’s the reality for repeat DUI offenders. If the ignition interlock system detects alcohol, your vehicle won’t start. It may ask you to retest while the vehicle is running to ensure that you haven’t been drinking since you began driving.

Pennsylvania law requires ignition interlock devices for one year if you’re arrested for DUI with a prior offense. That’s on top of other penalties such as suspension of your driver’s license, jail time, and court-ordered alcohol treatment for repeat offenses.

Potential penalties for multiple DUI offenses in Pennsylvania

After having a few drinks with friends five years ago, you decided to drive home. You committed a minor traffic violation, and an officer pulled you over. The officer charged you with a DUI, and you faced serious penalties.

Unfortunately, after you attended a wedding last weekend, although you felt safe to drive, an officer pulled you over for driving over the speed limit. The officer administered a breathalyzer test, and you obtained a second DUI arrest.

How to get a restricted license after DUI charges

One of the penalties defendants may face for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in Pennsylvania is license suspension. Depending on the number of offenses you have had, your suspension may last between 12 and 18 months. However, defendants may be able to apply for a restricted license to use until this suspension is over. This could mean a world of difference for those who rely on a vehicle to commute to work, see their children, purchase groceries or fulfill other important responsibilities.

Pennsylvania lawmakers reviewing firearms laws

In the wake of the recent tragic Florida school shooting that left 17 dead, Pennsylvania lawmakers are reviewing a series of gun-bills designed to improve public safety in our state. In the past several weeks, both the House and Senate have considered bills intended to improve background checks and keep firearms out of the hands of convicted domestic abusers.

Gov. Tom Wolf is onboard with these bills, and recently asked the legislature to consider “common-sense gun reform bills that will help us close dangerous loopholes and keep weapons out of the hands of individuals who pose a threat to Pennsylvania’s citizens.”

DUI-related laws get attention from Pennsylvania lawmakers

Driving under the influence (DUI) laws continue to evolve in Pennsylvania, a trio of them - two currently in place and the third still in discussion among lawmakers - have been gaining attention the past several months. First, let's provide a primer on DUI laws.

In Pennsylvania, any vehicle driver 21 or older with blood-alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent faces a DUI charge. Enhanced penalties are in place for people whose BACs range from 0.10 to 0.159 percent and for amounts that are 0.16 percent or higher. If you're under 21 - an age that's illegal to drink alcohol - you may be charged with DUI with a BAC of 0.02 percent.