ARD in Lancaster County - Qualifying for the Program

In my previous post, ARD in Lancaster County - Advantages of the Program for First Time DUI Offenders, I discussed the benefits of the ARD program. But, in order to take advantage of the program, the applicant must qualify. Applicants will not qualify for ARD if any one of the following is true:

  • the applicant has a prior DUI conviction or has been accepted into the ARD program within the last 10 years from the date of the current offense, or the applicant has more than one prior DUI or ARD
  • there was an accident in which someone was killed or seriously injured
  • there was a passenger under 14 years of age in applicant's car
  • the applicant's license was not valid or not in good standing
  • the applicant had no or inadequate automobile insurance
  • the District Attorney determines that the applicant has an extensive record of driving violations (there is some subjectivity to this factor)
  • the applicant's blood alcohol content was .24% or higher

In addition, if the applicant's blood alcohol content is unknown because they refused the BAC test or their actions were deemed a refusal of the test, they must agree to not file or discontinue any appeal of the resulting license suspension to PennDOT.

In some limited cases, exceptions can be made. On those borderline cases, the Lancaster County District Attorney's Office periodically conducts an ARD panel in which applicants and/or their attorneys can present their cases. However, there is no guarantee of the outcome.

It should be noted that there are many strict time limitations and requirements that need to be met when applying for ARD. Some of the initial requirements must be met within 30 days of the charges being filed. The risks of being denied ARD for failing to meet those requirements justify using an attorney to help guide you through this process. 

Finally, despite the advantages ARD provides, please let me state for the record that the best way to avoid DUI charges is to avoid drinking and driving altogether. Please click here for some statistics on the dangers of drinking and driving.

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