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First-time DUI offenders may qualify for the Berks County ARD program

| Jan 25, 2021 | DUI | 0 comments

Residents of Berks County facing a first-time driving under the influence charge may qualify for the accelerated rehabilitative disposition program. You can apply for this program in lieu of mandatory jail time and license suspension.

Learn more about ARD requirements if you or a family member has a recent DUI arrest.

Benefits of ARD

If the court convicts you of DUI, you must complete a license suspension for up to 12 months and serve time in jail. However, successfully completing ARD provides an alternative to the trial and conviction process. If you qualify for this program, you will receive probation instead of jail time. The court may shorten or eliminate license suspension depending on your blood alcohol content at the time of the arrest. The judge may also reduce your court fees and fines related to the DUI. When you complete the program, you can request expungement of the DUI charge from your record.

Eligibility requirements

Berks County offers ARD to DUI offenders who:

  • Have no history of DUI
  • Did not cause serious bodily injury to another person
  • Did not have a passenger younger than 14 at the time of the arrest
  • Did not have a suspended driver’s license at the time of the arrest

You must agree to participate in a court evaluation for substance use disorder and complete the recommended course of treatment. You will also complete an application interview.

During the program, you must complete court-ordered Alcohol Highway Safety School and 16 hours of community service.

To apply for ARD in Berks County, you must request the application at your preliminary hearing and submit all required paperwork within three business days.

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