If you have been arrested for the first time for a “Driving Under the Influence” (DUI) (on or after 2/1/04) you may be eligible for the ARD Program.
WHAT IS THE ARD PROGRAM?
The ARD Program for the DUI offender is an alternative to trial, conviction, a mandatory jail sentence, and a mandatory loss of your driver’s license for one year*.
(*If this is your first offense for DUI and your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was between .08 and .099, and there was no accident, there would be no suspension of your driver’s license regardless of whether you were convicted or if you were admitted into the ARD Program.)
WHO QUALIFIES FOR THE ARD PROGRAM?
You may be eligible for the ARD Program on your DUI charge if you meet all of the following requirements:
- First offense for DUI and no other prior misdemeanor, felony or ARD disposition.
- No serious bodily injury (other than the defendant) as a result of an accident. (75 Pa. C.S.A. 3807 (a)(2)(ii))
- No passenger under 14 years of age in the vehicle the defendant was operating. (75 Pa. C.S.A. 3807 (a)(2)(iii))
- Defendant must have had a valid driver’s license that was not suspended, revoked, or cancelled at the time of arrest for DUI.
- Defendant must undergo a Court Reporting Network (CRN) evaluation prior to admission into the ARD Program, and participate thereafter in any recommended treatment or counseling.
- If the defendant refused a breath, blood, or urine test, the “refusal form” must be sent to PENNDOT (and a copy to the District Attorney’s Office) by the arresting police officer prior to ARD Court.
- In order to be eligible for acceptance into the ARD Program on your DUI offense you must apply for the ARD program at the time of your preliminary hearing.
HOW DO I APPLY FOR THE ARD PROGRAM?
After your appearance at the Magisterial District Judge (the Preliminary Hearing) complete an ARD Application, an Appearance for Entry into ARD Program, and a Subpoena for ARD Hearing, and report to the Adult Probation/Parole Department (with your completed forms), Berks County Service Center, 633 Court Street, 7th Floor, Reading, Pa. within three (3) working days between 8:15 AM-8:30 AM. The Adult Probation/Parole Department will review your ARD application, conduct an ARD Interview (or a pre-sentence investigation if your case does not meet the above requirements), will schedule your community service, Alcohol Highway Safety School, and a CRN evaluation. The District Attorney’s Office will also review your application for the ARD Program and notify you or your attorney if your case is rejected for the ARD Program.
WHAT DOES PLACEMENT INTO THE ARD PROGRAM FOR A DUI OFFENSE INVOLVE?
- One year period of probation in lieu of a mandatory minimum jail term of either 48 hours or 72 hours and a six-month period of parole if convicted of a 1st offense DUI within 10 years. Note - if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was .08%-.099% and there was no accident, there is no mandatory jail term for a first DUI offense but acceptance into ARD Program will still result in a one-year period of probation.
- In lieu of a mandatory one-year loss of driver’s license if convicted:
- a license suspension of 30 days if BAC between .10%-.159%
- a license suspension of 60 days if:
- BAC of .16% or greater
- OR the BAC is not known
- OR you were charged with driving under the influence of drugs
- OR an accident which resulted in bodily injury and/or damage to a vehicle or other property
- no license suspension if your BAC is between .08%-.099%
- Mandatory attendance at Alcohol Highway Safety School (DUI School) (You will be scheduled in the earliest class available. You must inform DUI Officers of any prior DUI Offense(s) at the time of scheduling. Any false information regarding prior DUI convictions can result in your having to retake the classes with no credit for previous class participation. Be prepared to designate preferred day of the week for class attendance)
- Reduced fines and costs
- Undergo a CRN Evaluation (a drug/alcohol screening) prior to ARD Court and participate in drug/alcohol treatment if deemed necessary and as directed by the Adult Probation/Parole Department
- 40 hours of Community Service
- Upon successful completion of the ARD Program the Adult Probation/Parole Department will forward a petition to the District Attorney’s Office and the Court of Common Pleas requesting that the DUI charge be expunged.
DEFENDANT SHALL BRING THE FOLLOWING TO THE ADULT PROBATION/PAROLE DEPARTMENT:
- Appearance for Entry into A.R.D. Program
- Subpoena for Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Hearing
- Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Consideration Application
- Criminal Complaint
- Probable Cause
Please emphasize to the defendant that they must take all of the above forms and information to the Adult Probation/Parole Department, Berks County Services Center, 633 Court Street, Reading, Pa. in order to be considered for admission into the ARD Program on their DUI Offense. Defendant to report to the Adult Probation/Parole Department within three (3) working days (between 8:15 AM – 8:30 AM) after appearance at Magisterial District Judge for Preliminary Hearing.