‘Tis the season for eggnog, champagne, mulled wine and Driving Under the Influence. The holiday season is the time of merriment, joy and sometimes unwanted stress. When traveling the roads of Chester County and Montgomery County, please be sure that you are not getting behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance. Many people travel long distances on unfamiliar roads to visit friends and family members that they have not seen in a while and partake in a libation or two or five in the tradition of old Fezziwig from A Christmas Carol. But unlike the horse and buggy days where the horse can get you home no matter how inebriated you might be, when operating a vehicle, you should have nothing in your system. State and local police will be on extra patrols and on the lookout for the potential inebriated driver. It is very important that if you consume alcohol in any vast quantities, that you do not get behind the wheel of a car as you are putting yourself and others in great danger – as well as opening yourself up to the possibility of being charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance.
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FEATURE ARTICLE – “Pennsylvania Ignition Interlock” by Thomas P. McCabe, Esquire.
STAFF SPOTLIGHT – Meet Donna E. Day, Legal Administrator
OWM FIRM NEWS & UPCOMING EVENTS – Kathleen M. Martin, Esq., CELA, Thomas P. McCabe, Esq., and David A. Megay, Esq. have upcoming information sessions.
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Pennsylvania amended its Ignition Interlock law effective August 25, 2017. Part of that amendment made the Ignition Interlock (a device that is hooked up to your car that you have to breath into to demonstrate that there is no alcohol in your system in order for your car to operate) available for first-time DUI offenders with high blood alcohol levels. Further, it established a new Ignition Interlock Limited License. This new license permits individuals to operate a motor vehicle equipped with an Ignition Interlock device if certain requirements are met. The new license would have a designation on it that says, “Ignition Interlock”. …
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In Pennsylvania, Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is a serious infraction of the law. If you are convicted of drunk driving or plead guilty to the charge, you may receive up to two years in jail. To be guilty of DUI, you must have a minimum blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or above and that is what this article is about.
There are three classifications or levels of impairment that the law takes into consideration when punishing you for drunk driving. The first classification is a general impairment where your BAC is .08 to .099 percent. There is no license suspension for a first-time offense. The next level of impairment is .10 to .159 percent BAC, and this is called a high rate of alcohol. Your punishment for a DUI conviction would be more severe than the general impairment. The third tier or level of impairment is .16 percent and higher BAC, which is the highest rate of alcohol. In this tier, you receive the most severe punishment.
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