How Common are DUI Arrests in Pennsylvania?
DUI stands for Driving Under the Influence. (Other jurisdictions, like New Jersey, alternately refer to DUI as DWI, or Driving While Intoxicated.) Because the phrase “under the influence” is commonly associated with alcohol, and because DUI is often described as “drunk driving,” it has become a widespread and persistent misconception that DUI is based strictly on alcohol consumption. Simply put, this idea is inaccurate: drivers who are under the influence of drugs can also be charged with committing DUI.
Whether or not a driver is dangerously intoxicated is not determined based on the driver’s personal input. A driver may feel perfectly sober, but what matters is not opinion, but BAC. BAC, or Blood Alcohol Content, can be measured in various ways, such as blood testing; but breathalyzer testing is arguably more common.
Depending on factors such as a metabolism, food intake, and height and weight, the same amount of alcohol can cause a different BAC in different individuals. In Pennsylvania, the BAC cut-off point for most drivers is 0.08%. However, some categories of drivers are subject to an even lower threshold. For example, many commercial drivers are limited to a BAC of 0.04%, and school bus drivers in particular are limited to a BAC of just 0.02%. 0.02% is also the limit for underage drinkers (who are already violating the law by drinking while underage).
Needless to say, drugs such as marijuana or prescription medication will not yield a BAC to members of law enforcement. Instead, police officers use alternate techniques to evaluate drug intoxication. DREs, or Drug Recognition Experts, are specially trained to “recognize” the effects of drugs, and may give testimony in court regarding the impairment of a driver. Additionally, any tell-tale signs of drug use, such as drug paraphernalia in the driver’s vehicle, or obvious physical side effects (e.g. red eyes), will also be considered.
Who Gets Arrested for DUI in Pennsylvania?
Anyone an be arrested for DUI, regardless of age, gender, race, or other factors. Historically speaking, more men have been arrested for DUI than women, but the gender gap is gradually narrowing. In 1990, only 12.3% of DUI arrests in Pennsylvania were made against women; but by 2011, that amount increased to 24.2%.
Just as the amount of women arrested for DUI is increasing, the amount of minorities arrested for DUI is rising in turn. In 1990, just over 7% of all DUI arrests in Pennsylvania were made against minorities, while in 2011, minority arrests comprised 14.7% of DUI arrests. These figures mean that from 1990 to 2011, the amount of women and minorities arrested for DUI both doubled.
Nonetheless, the majority of Pennsylvania DUI arrests are made against white males. According to statistics released by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, in 2011:
- 75.8% of people arrested for DUI were male
- 85.3% of people arrested for DUI were white
In terms of age, according to the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the highest concentration of drunk drivers falls within the 21-25 year old age range. Nationally, this age group constitutes nearly a quarter of all drunk drivers, at 23.4%. In 2011, 41 out of 407 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in Pennsylvania involved drivers under the age of 21.
While young white males are the most likely to be charged with DUI from a statistical perspective, Marr says:
It is varied. I have seen kids as young as 16 get pulled over for DUI. I once had a client in his 80s who was pulled over for a DUI. It can really happen to anybody. I have pretty much seen everybody, from the young to senior citizens. It is usually split between men and women pretty equally, 50/50.
How Common Are DUI Charges in Pennsylvania?
In Pennsylvania and throughout America, DUI is an extremely common occurrence. In terms of frequency, DUI stands head and shoulders above many other offenses — but just how many DUIs are there in Pennsylvania?
There are tens of thousands of people every year, in Pennsylvania, getting arrested for DUI
Not only are DUI arrests alarmingly common, so are the deaths and injuries that can sometimes result. According to the Century Council, in 2011, Pennsylvania reported 407 motor fatalities related to alcohol. Additional statistics released by the Century Council report 48,519 DUI arrests in Pennsylvania in 2011 — that’s an average of approximately 133 arrests per day.
Counties Our DUI Attorneys Serve
At Young, Marr & Associates, our DUI attorneys represent men and women across Southeastern Pennsylvania. Our expert legal team has worked with clients in:
Just a few of the communities we serve include:
- King of Prussia
If you are facing DUI charges in Pennsylvania, you risk losing your license, being forced to pay expensive fines, and even going to jail; but an aggressive and knowledgeable DUI lawyer can help. The experienced Pennsylvania DUI defense attorneys at Young, Marr & Associates have a proven track record of success in reducing charges and obtaining case dismissals: over 98% of our first-offense DUI clients do not result in jail time or a criminal record. To arrange for a free consultation with a member of our legal team, contact our law offices online, or call Young, Marr & Associates at (609) 755-3115 in New Jersey or (215) 701-6519 in Pennsylvania.
NO JAIL TIME
Commonwealth v. "H" (DUI case)
Client was charged with three separate DUI cases calling for mandatory minimum imprisonment of 90 days on each case. Client was advised to seek immediate intensive alcohol counseling. Client was sentenced to 1 year of house arrest after serving 3 days in the county prison.
Commonwealth v. "C" (Felony drug/Firearms case)
Client was charged with felony Delivery of drugs and illegal gun possession and was facing a mandatory 3-6 year prison sentence in the State prison system. Client was sentenced to one year of house arrest.
Commonwealth v. "S"
Client was charged with simple assault, domestic. After a hearing where evidence and testimony was presented, the entire case was dismissed by Judge Leonard Brown.
State of New Jersey v. "H"
Charges for young man charged with second degree aggravated assault were downgraded to third degree and he was accepted into the County Pretrial Intervention program with charges to be dismissed and record expunged after one year of misconduct free behavior.
OUR CRIMINAL DEFENSE TEAM INCLUDES TWO FORMER DISTRICT ATTORNEYS
We have decades of experience dealing with local police departments, prosecutors, and judges throughout southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Anyone facing charges involving a criminal offense can expect to experience a heightened degree of emotional turmoil, for themselves, as well as their family members. Our team of highly qualified criminal law attorneys and expert legal support staff are committed to providing each of our client’s with the compassion and understanding they deserve, as well as an aggressive plan for representation at an affordable price.
As former prosecutors, we have a balanced and in-depth understanding of the criminal justice system and how the prosecution prepares cases. In addition, we have long-standing experience dealing with local police departments, prosecutors and judges throughout southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
At Young, Marr and Associates, when we say “experience matters,” we mean it. Our lawyers, which include two former prosecutors and a former senior deputy district attorney bring more than three decades of criminal law experience, handling more than 10,000 criminal cases. It is precisely that experience that allows us to achieve outstanding results for our clients facing DUI, traffic, felony and misdemeanor charges in state, federal and juvenile courts.