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DUI penalties in Pennsylvania

| Jan 28, 2020 | drunk driving

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%.