Memorial Day is an important federal holiday to honor U.S. soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who gave their lives in service to the country. For many, Memorial Day also signals the official start of the summer season and is one of the most widely celebrated American holidays. It is celebrated across the country with parades, military ceremonies, barbecues, and outdoor events.
It is also celebrated with the use of a lot of alcohol. When an individual drinks beyond capacity, they put their own lives in danger. It can lead to poor decisions, and many individuals are even charged with different criminal offenses.
DUI arrests are common on Memorial Day
While the day is intended to remember members of the military who died serving the country, many people take advantage of the holiday by throwing cookouts and parties in celebration of the changing season. It is the kick-off of the official vacation travel season, but one wrong decision can have devastating consequences. One of the most common and dangerous mistakes made on Memorial Day is a drunk driving accident. Memorial Day begins the official vacation travel season, which is one reason why so many people drink irresponsibly.
Drunk driving is a problem on our nation’s roads every day, but it is even more prevalent during the holidays. Memorial Day is one of the highest days for alcohol related accidents to occur. The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that 415 people may die on U.S. roads this Memorial Day holiday period.
In Pennsylvania, if you are found to have a blood alcohol concentration of more than 0.8, you are considered legally intoxicated. You may be charged with a crime and lose your license. It is important to follow the laws and avoid drunk driving, not only to avoid criminal penalties but also to avoid harming yourself and others. Here, we have outlined the consequences of DUI, how you can avoid an accident on Memorial Day (and every day), and what to do if you find yourself in trouble.
What happens if you get a DUI in Philadelphia?
In Philadelphia, it is illegal to drive under the influence of any intoxicating substance. If you are found guilty for the first time, the authorities could suspend your license for up to one year. If your BAC concentration is at 0.2 or above and you are younger than 21 years of age, you will be considered legally intoxicated.
Driving under the influence of alcohol or any drug can have severe consequences and impact an individual’s life. You may be convicted and face jail and/or significant fines. You could end up seriously injured as well, including a head injury. You should avoid driving whenever you plan to drink. If you are drinking or have consumed a mind altering drug, ask someone for a ride or use a rideshare or taxi service to prevent the risk of an accident.
Penalties for a first time DUI in Philadelphia
Everyone should be aware of the penalties for first-time DUI charges in Philadelphia. Your penalty and punishment will depend in part on your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC). Here are the penalties you could face depending on BAC levels. The higher the BAC concentration, the higher the charges and punishment will be.
- BAC above 0.8 and less than .1 – Six months of probation and a fine of up to $300
- BAC above .1 and less than .16 – A fine of up to $5,000 will be charged, and it is likely that your license will be suspended for a year.
- BAC .16 or above – Your license may be suspended for up to a year. In addition, you may have to spend up to six months in jail.
If you refuse to take a roadside DUI test, your license may be suspended for up to a year.
What to do if you are hit by a drunk driver?
There can also be instances where you have been hit by a drunk driver. In situations like these, you should consider taking legal action against the driver. In addition to any criminal penalties the driver may be facing, you may have a viable civil claim against them to recover damages for any injuries or property damage caused by the accident. You should also take precautions to protect yourself and prevent risks when driving during the holidays. Continue reading to understand how you can avoid DUI charges.
How to avoid DUI charges?
Keep the following things in mind to avoid DUI charges:
- Avoid over consumption of alcohol – If you are driving somewhere and do not have a ride back, you should avoid over consuming alcoholic beverages. Avoiding alcohol is the simplest way to prevent the risk of DUI charges. Some people attempt to manage their consumption by drinking different types of alcohol, but beer, wine, and spirits all have alcohol and that will show up on a breathalyzer.
- Do not drive – If you are under the influence of alcohol, you should avoid driving. Drinking alcohol can have severe consequences and can impair the normal functioning of your brain. If someone else will be driving the car, you must ensure that they are not under the influence of any drug or alcohol either.
- Do not refuse a DUI test – If you make a mistake, and it is your first time, you may choose not to refuse the DUI test to avoid an automatic suspension of your license.
If you have been arrested for DUI, you can get in touch with an attorney to build your defense. If you have sustained injuries because of someone’s negligence, you can get in touch with a Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyer.