It is against the law to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher in Pennsylvania. Depending on your weight, you may reach this level with the consumption of as little as two alcoholic drinks.
While the consequences for driving under the influence are clearly laid out in Pennsylvania law, some circumstances will increase the penalties you may face.
1. Driving with a minor
If you drink and drive with a minor in your vehicle, you will face additional fines beginning at $1,000 for a first offense. The presence of a minor will add six months to your license suspension as well. Prior DUI convictions will result in additional mandatory jail time.
2. Driving a commercial vehicle
Although it is permissible to drive a private vehicle with a blood alcohol level of less than .08, you cannot legally drive a commercial vehicle if your BAC is .04 or higher. Regardless of your BAC, you may face the penalties usually reserved for those with the highest blood alcohol concentrations.
3. Refusing a test
As a Pennsylvania driver, you give implied consent to testing for alcohol. If you refuse a test, you will lose your license for a year or more. This applies even if you are later found not to have been under the influence of alcohol.
The consequences of drinking and driving can be quite severe, and aggravating factors can increase the penalties. It is advisable to drink in moderation and be aware of your body’s individual tolerances.