All About the ARD Program in PA

Pennsylvania ARD is a rehabilitation program for first-time DUI offenders. Repeat offenders are ineligible to participate.

ARD stands for Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition. Upon successful completion, your case may be dismissed and the DUI arrest expunged from your record.

Expungement is not part of the ARD program, so to fully move past your arrest you’ll need to hire a competent Pennsylvania DUI attorney. Steven E. Kellis has over 25 years of experience in DUI law. He’s helped thousands of clients get their DUIs expunged, and he can help you too. 

Call today for your free, no-obligation consultation.

PA ARD Program Eligibility and Requirements

A defendant must meet certain criteria to qualify for the ARD program:

  1. The defendant cannot have any prior convictions.
  2. The defendant must have a valid license and insurance.
  3. The defendant must not have had minors in the vehicle at the time of arrest.
  4. The defendant must not have caused an accident where serious injuries or deaths were involved.

If the defendant passes the criteria, they are eligible for the ARD Program in PA. During this time, they must complete the following provisions:

  • Court Reporting Network (CRN) alcohol evaluation interview (determines whether a defendant should be evaluated for substance abuse)
  • Attendance in Alcohol Highway Safety School (Dependent on BAC and performance in CRN interview) 
  • Probation of 6-12 months
  • Full drug and alcohol (D&A) assessment (if BAC was 0.16% or higher, or if the CRN interview indicated a need for further evaluation for counseling and treatment)
  • Mandatory license suspension (see section below for details)
  • Restitution to any person who suffered a financial loss
  • Fees, surcharges, or costs associated with Alcohol Highway Safety School, evaluations, and treatment
  • Any other condition established by the court

Defendants must also complete community service. Every county differs on the number of community service hours that must be completed. 

Only after the defendant completes these can their record be expunged from their NCIC (criminal history). This can only be done with the help of an experienced DUI lawyer who’s knowledgeable of the specifics of the ARD program in PA.

License Suspension Guidelines for the ARD Program

As mentioned above, Pennsylvania imposes mandatory license suspensions depending on the nature of the crime and the offender’s blood alcohol content (BAC) at the time of arrest. The guidelines:

  • BAC under .10% and not a minor: No suspension
  • BAC between .10% and .16%: 30-day suspension
  • BAC of .16% or greater, or unknown BAC, or DUI involves drugs, violation of implied consent, or DUI that results in an accident with bodily injury or property damage: 60-day suspension
  • Minor offender: 90-day suspension

Remember, these penalties are in addition to those explained above in the PA ARD Program Eligibility section. Additional penalties may apply depending on the details of your case. 

Call dedicated Pennsylvania DUI attorney Steven E. Kellis now for more information.

Cost of the ARD Program in PA

Each county sets its own ARD program PA costs, but when it’s all said and done, you can expect to pay around $2,500 to participate in ARD. The low price point is around $1,000, and the highest is usually about $3,000. 

These costs are non-refundable, so make sure ARD is the right choice for you. Remember, if you have prior DUI convictions, you cannot participate in an ARD program for PA DUI.

If I refuse the BAC test, can I still enroll in the ARD program?

If someone refuses to take the breath test or the blood test, they can still enroll in the Pennsylvania ARD Program. They will be at the highest tier, Tier 3, but they will be allowed to go into the ARD Program.

What happens if I’m denied into the ARD program?

Don’t assume you’re out of options if you were denied acceptance into the ARD program in PA. Thanks to attorney Steven Kellis’ close relationship with the District Attorney’s office, he is able to request that the DA reconsider their decision based on the specific circumstances of your case.

Sometimes, the prosecution denies entrance in ARD for an illegal reason. If this is the case, Mr. Kellis files a motion to convince the judge to overthrow the prosecution’s decision.

How long is the ARD program in PA?

In Pennsylvania, the maximum amount of time to complete all ARD requirements is 24 months. However, most people complete the program in between six months and one year.