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    A Look at Zero Tolerance Laws

    Last updated 3 months ago

    In Pennsylvania, there are serious consequences for people under the age of 21 found guilty of driving with any amount of alcohol in their blood. For example, a driver under 21 who is found to be driving with .02 blood alcohol content or greater can face a 12 to 18-month license suspension, 48 hours to six moths in jail, and fines up to $5,000. It is also illegal for someone under the age of 21 to consume, possess, or transport alcohol in the state of Pennsylvania.

    Background of zero tolerance laws

    In the United States, traffic accidents are a leading cause of death for teenagers. According to the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, approximately 1,600 Pennsylvania drivers under the age of 21 are involved in alcohol related vehicle crashes each year. The purpose of zero tolerance laws is to discourage teenagers from drinking and driving, as a way to enhance the safety of Pennsylvania roads.

    Consequences for DUI

    A person under 21 suspected of drunk driving can be asked to take a breath, blood or urine test. If the driver’s BAC is 0.02% or higher and he or she is convicted of a DUI, then he or she faces up to a year drivers’ license suspension, drug and alcohol evaluation, and significant fines. In addition, the driver will likely need to complete a court-ordered Alcohol Highway Safety Program with the state. Refusing to take a BAC test can also result in suspension of driving privileges for a year.

    Other penalties

    Adults found guilty of selling, furnishing, or purchasing alcohol for someone under the age of 21 will receive a fine of $1,000.00 and fines up to $2,500.00 for each subsequent offense. It is also illegal for anyone to knowingly or intentionally alter an identification card that falsely represents his or her identity. 

    If you or your child is facing DUI charges under Pennsylvania’s zero tolerance policy, Kelly Parker & Cohen LLP can help. Our criminal defense lawyers have more than 50 years of combined litigation experience. Call (717) 412-1564 to schedule an appointment in our Harrisburg office. 

    Choosing the Best DUI Lawyer

    Last updated 3 months ago

    Being convicted of a DUI charge carries serious long-term consequences, including fines, possible jail time, and license suspension. For this reason, one of the most important things to do following a DUI arrest is getting in touch with an experienced DUI lawyer. In order to find a lawyer who you will feel comfortable working with, you may need to schedule interviews with a few different lawyers in your area.

    A good DUI lawyer has courtroom experience in DUI cases, with records you can look up and read. In addition, your lawyer should have office staff able to assist him or her and keep you updated on your case’s progress. You can also make sure that your lawyer is in good standing with the local bar association by checking your state’s bar association website. If you’re like most people, meeting with an attorney can be an intimidating experience. Aside from assessing your potential attorney’s credentials and experience, make sure that you feel comfortable discussing your legal situation with a potential attorney.

    Kelly Parker & Cohen LLP possesses the knowledge, focus, and experience to represent clients facing a range of criminal charges. Call (717) 412-1564 to schedule an appointment

    The Consequences of DUI Charges for Underage Individuals

    Last updated 4 months ago

    Pennsylvania is a zero tolerance state, meaning that it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to consume alcohol. Unfortunately, underage drinkers account for a large number of alcohol-related auto fatalities, so the standards and penalties are stricter for someone under 21 who is caught drinking and driving. Usually, anyone under 21 with a BAC of 0.02% or higher can be cited for driving under the influence.

    First DUI conviction

    A first underage DUI conviction can result in up to 90 days imprisonment, fines between $300 and $500, as well as license suspension. The license suspension typically lasts 12 months or above if the BAC registered above 0.10. For drivers above the age of 21 convicted of a first offense DUI, Pennsylvania doesn’t have a mandatory minimum license suspension if BAC is between .08 and 0.099. However, a BAC between 0.10 and 0.159 can result in a license suspension up to one year for drivers who are of legal drinking age.

    Second DUI conviction within 10 years

    People under the age of 21 found guilty of a second drunk driving offense face between five days and six months in jail. In addition, they will need to pay fines between $300 and $2500 and have their license suspended for one year.

    Refusal of chemical test

    Pennsylvania has implied consent laws, meaning drivers are required to take a blood, breath, or urine test if suspected of DUI. However, the test must be taken within two hours of driving and the police officer must observe the driver for twenty minutes before asking him or her to submit to a breath test. Refusing to take the chemical test results in automatic license suspension, and subsequent penalties for refusing the test if convicted of a DUI.

    Call (717) 412-1564 to schedule a free initial consultation with Kelly Parker & Cohen LLP. Our criminal defense lawyers establish relationships with clients based on personal attention, high quality service, and attaining practical solutions. We represent clients facing a wide range of criminal charges, including Pennsylvania DUI. 

    Pennsylvania Launches Campaign to Prevent Drunk Driving During Holidays

    Last updated 4 months ago

    The number of social gatherings, parties, and holiday dinners in December make it one of the highest months for arrests and accidents involving alcohol. To help keep Pennsylvania drivers safe, law enforcement officials, the PennDOT, and Delaware County Council conducted roving patrols last December. In addition, the city set up a number of DUI checkpoints on area roadways.

    In this video, members of the Delaware County Council and Pennsylvania Department of Transportation announce the reasons for DUI enforcement around the holidays. 

    As Councilman Dave White explains, good people can sometimes make bad decisions and get behind the wheel after drinking at a holiday party. The purpose of the Pennsylvania DUI Association’s campaign is to raise awareness about the dangers of drunk driving and encourage safer alternatives. 

    Kelly Parker & Cohen LLP represents clients facing a range of criminal charges, including DUI. Call (717) 412-1564 to schedule a consultation. 

    Should You Refuse a Field Sobriety Test?

    Last updated 4 months ago

    Technically, you can refuse to take a field sobriety test in Pennsylvania, but the prosecutor in your case can use your refusal to prove consciousness of guilt. Field sobriety tests aren’t testimonial in nature; rather they require you to show your physical coordination. If you refuse to take the test, the prosecutor may introduce your refusal as evidence of intoxication in a jury trial.

    Police officers typically conduct three field sobriety tests when screening for DUIs—one-legged stand test, finer to nose test, and walking in a straight line test. Though these tests provide some insight into a person’s coordination, they aren’t scientifically reliable. This means, a prosecutor can’t introduce the results of the tests to indicate you were at a particular Blood Alcohol Level. For this reason, police officers typically require BAC testing if someone shows lack of coordination during field sobriety testing.

    Call (888) 482-1351 to schedule a consultation with a DUI defense lawyer at Kelly, Parker & Cohen LLP. We will go over the evidence against you to determine your best criminal defense strategy.    

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