First of all, what is ARD? Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) is a special pre-trial intervention program in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, United States for non-violent offenders with no prior or limited record. In the City of Philadelphia a person can qualify for the ARD Program if: 1. they have no previous misdemeanor or felony convictions (summary offenses are allowed); 2. they had proper license, registration, and insurance on the car in use during the arrest; 3. did not receive ARD in the last 10 years; 4. did not have a passenger under the age of 14 years of age; 5. was not involved in an accident where someone other than the accused was seriously injured 6. did not refuse the blood or breathalyzer test 7. did not leave the scene of the accident if there was one; 8. did not try to allude the police at the time of the DUI. Other counties in Pennsylvania have similar, but not identical rules for ARD eligibility.
What happens when a person enters the ARD program? The person receives no jail time, is put on probation for 6-12 months, pays fines of around $500.00, takes a safe driving course, and possibly attends drug counseling sessions if deemed appropriate. Their driver’s license is suspended for 30 days if their blood alcohol content is between .10 and .16, 60 days if it over .16 or if there is drugs in their system, and no suspension if it under .10. If the person completes the ARD program successfully, then their record with automatically be expunged approximately six months later. However, if the person is convicted of another DUI in the next ten years, this will be considered their second DUI despite the ARD program and the expungement.