UNDERAGE DUI IN PITTSBURGH
It's no secret that college students drink. Whether it's having one beer too many or drinking to excess at a party, getting behind the wheel is one of the worst mistakes you can make. The legal drinking age in Pennsylvania is 21, and those under the age of 21 will be prosecuted under stricter blood alcohol concentration standards than those who are of age. Unlike the .08 percent threshold for those 21 years of age or older, the minimum DUI threshold is a .02 percent or higher for someone under the age of 21. It may only take one drink for an underage drinker to pick up an underage DUI.
UNDERAGE DUI DEFINED
In PA, under Section 3802e of the Vehicle Code, a person under the age of 21 may not drive, operate, or be in actual physical control of the movement of a vehicle after consuming alcohol such that the alcohol concentration in the minor's blood or breath is at least .02% within 2 hours after the individual has driven, operated or been in actual physical control over the movement of the vehicle.
WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR UNDERAGE DUI IN PA?
An underage DUI offense is considered a middle tier offense in Pennsylvania. A person convicted of underage DUI in excess of .02%, but less than .16% faces the following legal penalties:
ARD Resolution: No jail time, probation of up to 2 years, and a mandatory 90 day license suspension with no eligibility for an occupational limited license.
First Offense: 2 day mandatory minimum jail sentence, fine ranging from $500 to $5,000, attend alcohol highway safety school and comply with drug and alcohol treatments
Second Offense: 30 day mandatory minimum jail sentence, fine ranging from $750 to $5,000, attend alcohol highway safety school and comply with drug and alcohol treatments
Third Offense: 90 day mandatory minimum jail sentence, fine ranging from $1,500 to $10,000, attend alcohol highway safety school and comply with drug and alcohol treatments
Fourth or Subsequent Offense: 1 year mandatory minimum jail sentence, fine ranging from $1,500 to $15,000, attend alcohol highway safety school and comply with drug and alcohol treatments
The enhanced penalties for a highest tier offense will apply for an underage DUI offense where the person's BAC was above .16 percent. For example, an underage DUI driver facing a 2nd offense with a .02-.159% will be facing a 30 day mandatory minimum sentence. If that same driver's BAC is .16% or higher, the mandatory minimum jail sentence increases to 90 days.
Unfortunately, an underage DUI driver with a .02-.079% will be facing charges while a 21 year old driver with the same BAC range may never be charged at all.
TIPS TO HANDLE YOUR UNDERAGE DUI CASE MOVING FORWARD
If you or a loved one have been charged with underage DUI, you should be on the lookout for a summons, criminal complaint and other paperwork from the magistrate in the area where you were stopped by law enforcement. Make sure to review your criminal complaint, which details the allegations against you.
Second, make sure to comply with the fingerprint order that is sent to you in the mail. You will have to bring your paperwork with you to the location where you are fingerprinted. Third, you should immediately discuss your case with an experienced Pittsburgh DUI attorney.
To discuss your case with former DUI prosecutor Dave Zuckerman, call 412-447-5580.