Lancaster County Felony DUI Attorney

Mothers Against Drug Driving reports that traffic fatalities involving drunk drivers have been reduced by approximately 50% since 1980.  Although this represents an overall improvement, there are still more than 10,000 people killed in accidents involving an impaired driver each year. In 2017 in Lancaster County, there were roughly 481 vehicle crashes that involved a driver who was impaired.

Alcohol-Related Accident Fatalities in 2017


Total Deaths

No Alcohol

BAC of .01+

BAC of .08+

BAC of .15+

National (U.S.)












Elements of DUI Offense (Title 75 § 3802)

It is unlawful in Pennsylvania to “drive, operate, or be in physical control of the movement of a vehicle” after consuming an amount of alcohol that causes the individual to be unable to safely operate. Drivers in Pennsylvania are required to submit to chemical testing when a member of law enforcement suspects that the operator is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Drivers who refuse to test are subject to an automatic license suspension and fines.

The federal government established the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% as the threshold for alcohol impairment. Pennsylvania also now has a “drugged driving” law prohibiting drivers from operating a vehicle with a Schedule I controlled substance or its metabolites in their blood. It also prohibits driving with a Schedule II or III drug or their metabolites in their blood unless prescribed by a doctor. This also applies to those under the influence of “certain solvents and noxious substances.”

Minors & Commercial Vehicle Operators

The BAC limit for minors and drivers that are operating a school bus or other school vehicle is .02%. All drivers operating any commercial motor vehicle are subject to a BAC limit of .04%. The same law applies for operating under the influence of a controlled substance for these drivers.

Ignition Interlock

Pennsylvania joined all other states by implementing penalties that require certain DUI offenders to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle. This device requires a driver to provide a breath sample to start the car. This applies to first-time offenders with a high-level BAC or those who refuse to consent to chemical testing. Offenders are responsible for the costs of leasing this equipment, which currently ranges from $900 to $1,300 a year.

Felony DUI in Pennsylvania

Governor Tom Wolf recently implemented enhanced penalties for certain habitual DUI offenders making the crime a third-degree felony offense. Those convicted of a third offense in 10 years that are found to have a BAC of .16% or higher will face felony charges. This also applies to third-time offenders who refuse to submit to testing and all those convicted of a fourth DUI offense.

Third Offense Felony DUI Penalties

  • Driver's license suspension of 18 months
  • Period of incarceration ranging from one to seven years
  • Fines of between $2,500 and $10,000
  • Must maintain an ignition interlock device on their vehicle for one year.

Fourth Offense Felony DUI Penalties


License Suspension



Ignition Interlock 

.08 to .10%

18 months

10 days to 7 years

$500 to $15,000

1 year

.10 to .159%

18 months

1 year to 7 years

$1,500 to $15,000

1 year

.16 or more

18 months

1 year to 7 years

$2,500 to $15,000

1 year

Lancaster County DUI Defense Lawyer

Have you been arrested for driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs? Our Criminal Law Team has the experience necessary to provide strong legal defense in Pennsylvania DUI cases. The penalties that can result from a conviction are now increasingly severe, particularly for those with prior offenses. Contact our office today for a consultation at (888) 535-3686.

Contact Us Today!

The LLF Law Firm Team has decades of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the LLF Law Firm today! Our Criminal Defense Team will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

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