If you have not kept up on changes in the law, you might not know that the legal limit in Pennsylvania is lower than it was in the past. Since 2003, Act 24 has required the state legal limit of alcohol to be .08% instead of .10%.

On top of this, there were three tiers of DUIs created by the act that are dependent on your blood alcohol content (BAC). These include general impairment, high BAC and highest BAC. General impairment runs from .08% to .099%, high BAC runs from .10 to .159% and highest BAC goes from .16% upward.

Additionally, as a result of the changes in the law, those who get into accidents that hurt others can face higher BAC penalties than those who do not, even if their blood alcohol content is low enough to qualify for the general impairment category.

What penalties do you face for a general impairment DUI?

If you have been arrested and face a general impairment DUI, you could face several penalties. If this is your first offense, it’s an ungraded misdemeanor and can lead to six months of probation along with a $300 fine. You’ll have to go to highway safety school and receive addiction treatment if the court orders you to do so.

If you have a prior offense, the penalties increase. You will now face fines up to $2,500 and have to use an ignition interlock device for a year. You will face up to six months in jail and will lose your license for a year. This is still an ungraded misdemeanor.

For a third offense, the penalties increase to up to two years in prison, fines of up to $5,000, a year of using an ignition interlock device, a year of losing your license and more.

If you are charged, don’t delay in finding someone to help you defend yourself. You may be able to have the penalties reduced.