Much has been written about the physical dangers of driving under the influence. Additionally, in previous blog posts we have discussed the legal penalties DUI charges can bring, such as jail time, expensive fines and lengthy drivers license suspensions. As if you needed another reason to be wary, I’ve got one for you: stiff penalties for driving while your license is suspended.
Section 1543(b) of the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Code states that if the drivers license of a person driving a motor vehicle has been suspended as a result of DUI or DUI related charges (more on this later), such driver shall be fined $500 and serve at least 60 days in jail upon conviction. However, if that driver has a blood alcohol content ("BAC") of .02% (much lower than the standard DUI BAC threshold of .08%) then the penalties are increased to a $1000 fine and a minimum of 90 days in jail. Repeat offenses of the .02% BAC rule will lead to significant increases in fines and jail time.
Moreover, there are a few wrinkles in the law that make section 1543(b) applicable in more situations than you might think. First, section 1543(b) applies to license suspensions arising from acceptance into ARD, convictions of driving under the influence of a controlled substance, and refusals of breathalyzer and other BAC tests.