CRIMINAL DEFENSE / Services / DUI Offenses
CRIMINAL DEFENSE / Services / DUI Offenses

DUI Offenses


The Pennsylvania DUI Statute penalizes driving while impaired and additionally penalizes 3 “Tiers” of driving with Blood Alcohol Contents (“BAC”). Tier 1 includes BAC’s of .08% to less than .10%. Tier 2 includes BAC’s of .10% to less than .16%. Tier 3 includes BAC’s of .16% and above, DUI of narcotics, or DUI of a combination of alcohol and narcotics. Finally, minors (those under 21 years of age) are prohibited from driving with BAC’s of .02% or greater.


Blood or breath samples must generally be taken within two hours of driving, or being in “actual physical control” of the vehicle (example: sitting behind the wheel or car running). Blood samples may be lawfully taken only with the person’s valid consent or after the issuance of a search warrant.


Examples of successful DUI defenses we have employed include the inability of the Commonwealth to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the client was operating the vehicle, faulty testing procedures, unlawful blood tests,  questionable test results, or the inability to prove impairment in the event of a “refusal” to give a blood or breath sample (generally not recommended, as this subjects the individual to a one year suspension separate and apart from any suspension related to the DUI allegation).

Typically, first offense DUI’s are resolved by way of a county’s ARD Program. Successful completion of ARD means no conviction, and also allows for Expungement (destruction) of the non-conviction criminal records. The notable exception to expungement is that the individual’s driving record will maintain the ARD disposition for 10 years, which is the “look back” period in Pennsylvania. While ARD is not a conviction for any other reason, it will be used to enhance any subsequent DUI incurred within 10 years of the date of the ARD disposition. Standard conditions of the ARD probation are a Court Reporting Network interview (“CRN”), Alcohol Highway Safety School, a drug and alcohol evaluation, a license suspension of up to 3 months and community service.


Homicide by Vehicle requires recklessness or gross negligence in violating a vehicle code provision (example: running a red light while texting) resulting in death.


Homicide by Vehicle cases, whether DUI-related or not, typically require the utilization of a forensic witness (whether an Accident Reconstructionist and/or Forensic Engineer) to rebut the Commonwealth’s allegations. We have used experts to successfully convince the Commonwealth to not file or, if charges have been already filed, to withdraw this offense.


In a DUI-related offense, the DUI must cause the death or serious bodily injury. Case law has held that the DUI need not be the exclusive cause of the fatality/serious injury, but must be a “direct and substantial factor.” This is typically the most prominent issue in HbV/DUI trials.