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DUI and license suspension in PA

A DUI conviction in Pennsylvania often brings a variety of unwanted consequences. In addition to legal penalties, which could include fines and jail time, license suspension is a frequent result of a DUI.

After your conviction, the court will send a notice to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. The Department will then send you a notification stating the effective date and the term of your suspension. You must turn in your license by the time your suspension begins.

Suspension terms

Top factors affecting whether and how long the Department will suspend your license for include your blood alcohol content, number of previous DUI convictions and whether your DUI included impairment by prescription or illegal drugs.

A first-time DUI with a BAC under .099 will usually not net you a suspension. A one-year suspension is likely when dealing with a first-time DUI and a BAC of .1-.16 or a second DUI with a BAC under .099. A first time with BAC over .16, a second offense and BAC of .1-.16, or a third offense with a BAC under .099 generally garners a one-year suspension and the installation of an ignition interlock device.

Ignition interlock

If your suspension terms mandate an ignition interlock, you may not drive a vehicle without one. Further, you will have to pay for the device and the installation. The interlock device will take breath samples before allowing you to start the car and continue to take samples while you drive.

Occupational limited license

First-time DUI offenders may be eligible to obtain an Occupational Limited License, or OLL, which allows you to drive for specific purposes. Typically, these include traveling for school, work or medical treatments. Repeat DUI offenders may not be able to get an OLL until five years pass after the conviction.

Defending your rights

For these purposes, as for many others, a conviction generally includes a guilty or no contest plea. For many people, losing the ability to drive can present a far harsher penalty than simply paying the fine or even spending a couple of days in jail. A DUI conviction can have other effects that may reach further than you might think. An experienced defense attorney can fight DUI charges on your behalf and advise you as to the best options in your case.

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