Driving Under the Influence in Pennsylvania: An Overview
A person can receive a DUI in Pennsylvania if they are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Driving under the Influence is a very serious charge and if you are arrested in Chester County, Pennsylvania, it is recommended that you contact a DUI attorney immediately. Pennsylvania has enacted an “Implied Consent” law, which means that all drivers on the roadways of Pennsylvania agree to submit to a test of their blood, urine, and breath if they are suspected to be under the influence. For a person over the age of 21, a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level .08% or higher is considered driving under the influence and will result in a DUI. For a person who is underaged (below the age of 21) a BAC of .02% is enough to warrant a DUI. An individual may also be arrested for DUI if they are driving a vehicle under the influence of drugs or a controlled substance.
Chester County ARD Program for First Time DUI Offenders
In Chester County, PA, most first time DUI offenders will be eligible to apply for the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program (ARD). The ARD program is often described as a “second chance” for first time DUI offenders. The program seeks to provide treatment and rehabilitation to first time offenders instead of jail-time. One of the many benefits of the ARD program is that is helps the offender have a clean criminal record and the ability to retain their license (depending on the blood-alcohol level at the time of arrest).
Who Qualifies For the Chester County ARD Program?
A DUI offender may qualify for the ARD program in Chester County if the individual had no prior DUI offenses in the past 10 years and no other individual was seriously injured or killed while the defendant was driving. Moreover, no passenger under 14 years of age, can be in the vehicle during the time of the DUI.
If an individual qualifies for the Chester County ARD Program, the DUI charge will be suspended provided that the individual adhere to certain court-ordered conditions.
Conditions for the Chester County ARD Program
Once the individual is accepted into the Chester County ARD Program, there are several conditions that the person MUST adhere to once accepted into the program.
- The individual must have a Drug and Alcohol Evaluation, if the individual’s blood alcohol content (BAC) was 0.16% or greater or if the CRN (Court Reporting Network) states a need for further evaluation for drug and alcohol treatment;
- The individual MUST attend Alcohol Highway Safety School;
- The individual will be on probation suspension for a minimum period of 6 months to a maximum period of 1 year;
- The individual must pay any and all fees associated with the ARD program;
- Potential License Suspension;
- The individual must make restitution to any person who suffered a financial loss as a result of the DUI;
- The individual must also adhere to any conditions specifically established by the court.
Are You Facing Your First DUI Charge in Chester County?
If you or someone you know has been charged with a DUI in Chester County, The Law Office of Vincent J. Caputo is ready to help you through this process. We understand that this charge can often be difficult for the individual involved and that is why we will work with you every step of the way in achieving the best outcome possible. Contact our office for a free consultation today, your future is our priority!