Pennsylvania imposes penalties for driving under the influence that vary depending on your measured blood alcohol content behind the wheel. Drivers will also receive additional legal consequences for refusing a breath test. 

Before facing a court date for DUI in Pennsylvania, learn more about the state’s tiered penalty system. 

BAC of 0.08% to 0.99% 

The court considers this category general impairment. Penalties for a first offense include a fine of up to $300, along with a substance abuse treatment program and driving safety school as well as six months’ probation. 

The second offense for general impairment DUI results in fines of up to $2,500 and up to six months in jail. The driver will receive a license suspension for 12 months and must pay for an ignition interlock device to qualify for license reinstatement. Additional offenses carry up to $5,000 in fines and up to two years in jail. 

BAC of 0.10% to 0.159% 

This BAC category constitutes high impairment. Drivers with this measured level at the time of arrest receive a one-year license suspension, up to $5,000 in fines and up to six months in prison for the first offense. Additional offenses result in 18-month license suspension with mandatory IID for reinstatement, fines up to $10,000 and up to five years in prison. 

BAC above .16%  

Drivers who exceed the high impairment standard can receive a six-month license suspension, fines up to $10,000 and up to six months in prison for the first offense. The second offense carries an 18-month license suspension, at least 90 days and up to five years in prison, at least $1,500 and up to $10,000 in fines, and mandatory alcohol safety school. 

These penalties also apply for conviction for drug use behind the wheel and failure to take a breath test. First-time offenders can apply for a limited license after serving part of a suspension. Drivers who display obvious impairment can receive a DUI charge even with BAC below 0.08%.