As always, the Fourth of July is a great holiday for fireworks, cookouts, and family time. Unfortunately, it is also one of the days when the most DUI arrests are made. In Allegheny County, police are already making plans for stricter DUI enforcement. Allegheny county drivers can expect to see many DUI checkpoints on the road this weekend.
A few days before Christmas in 2012, a five-year-old boy named Kevin Miller was crossing a street in Wilkes-Barre, PA with his family. Walking only steps behind his father, a vehicle came out of nowhere, fatally struck the boy, and fled the scene. Now, Pennsylvania law makers have finally taken steps to close what many call a "loop-hole" in the DUI laws.
In a Pennsylvania DUI case, there can be very severe penalties associated with a conviction. These penalties can range from fines, to suspension of a license, to jail time. There are three categories of impairment under PA DUI law: General, High, and Highest. Each of these categories is defined as having a certain BAC level, and each category carries different penalties.
ARD, or Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition, is a Pennsylvania program that is usually available to first time DUI offenders in Allegheny County. In some limited circumstances, an individual charged with a different minor crime may be eligible for the program. ARD is primarily a rehabilitative program, which allows for expedited court proceedings. However, there may also be certain suspensions or costs associated with ARD. This program is not meant to replace convictions completely, but it may be the right option for a first-time DUI offender.