Have you been arrested on suspicion of DUI in Pennsylvania? If so, you might feel understandably concerned about the penalties you could face. Here’s what you need to know.

Pennsylvania’s DUI Penalties

Pennsylvania’s DUI laws use a tiered approach, where penalties depend on two key factors: the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) level and their history of DUI offenses. Here are the three main categories of DUI offenses and penalties in Pennsylvania.

General Impairment (BAC of .08 to .099%)

This category applies to those with a BAC of .08 to .099%. This level signifies the beginning of illegal impairment. 

Penalties for general impairment while driving in Pennsylvania include the following:

  • No Prior Offenses: Up to six months probation, $300 fine, alcohol highway safety school, and possible mandatory treatment
  • One Prior Offense: 12-month license suspension, five days to six months in jail, $300 to $2,500 fine, alcohol highway safety school, treatment if ordered, and one-year ignition interlock
  • Two Prior Offenses: 2nd-degree misdemeanor, 12 months license suspension, ten days to two years prison, $500 to $5,000 fine, treatment if ordered, and one-year ignition interlock

High BAC (.10 to .159%)

Pennsylvania takes a more severe stance on DUI as BAC levels rise. The high BAC category, covering BAC levels from .10 to .159%, encompasses a more serious level of impairment. Drivers falling into this category face stiffer penalties, such as the following:

  • No Prior Offenses: 12 months license suspension, 48 hours to six months prison, $500 to $5,000 fine, alcohol highway safety school, and possible mandatory treatment
  • One Prior Offense: 12-month suspension, 30 days to six months in prison, $750 to $5,000 fine, alcohol highway safety school, treatment if ordered, and one-year ignition interlock
  • Two Prior Offenses: 1st-degree misdemeanor, 18 months license suspension, 90 days to five years prison, $1,500 to $10,000 fine, treatment if ordered, and one-year ignition interlock
  • Three or More Prior Offenses: Same as above, but prison time ranges from one to seven years

Highest BAC (.16% and higher) or Controlled Substance

The highest BAC category in Pennsylvania’s DUI laws addresses the most severe DUI cases: those with a BAC of .16% and higher and offenses involving controlled substances. The law responds with stringent penalties, underscoring the gravity of such offenses. 

Penalties for extremely high BAC driving or driving under the influence of a controlled substance in Pennsylvania include the following:

  • No Prior Offenses: 12 months license suspension, 72 hours to six months prison, $1,000 to $5,000 fine, alcohol highway safety school, and possible mandatory treatment
  • One Prior Offense: 1st-degree misdemeanor, 18 months license suspension, 90 days to 5 years prison, $1,500 to $10,000 fine, alcohol highway safety school, treatment if ordered, and one-year ignition interlock
  • Two Prior Offenses: 18 months license suspension, 1 to 5 years prison, $2,500 to $10,000 fine, treatment if ordered, and one-year ignition interlock
  • Three or More Prior Offenses: License suspension and interlock requirements same as above, but fines increased to between $2,500 and $15,000 and between 1 and 7 years prison

Contact a DUI Lawyer in Pennsylvania Now

If you face DUI charges in Pennsylvania, remember that you don’t have to do it alone. The experienced DUI defense attorneys at McCormick & Vilushis LLC are here to help. Contact us now for a confidential case review to learn how.