Pennsylvania DUI

When faced with a Pennsylvania DUI arrest and/or conviction, there are a number of issues to consider: Will you have to serve jail time? If so, for how long? Or is probation a possibility? What will you owe in fines? Will your license be suspended, and for how long? Will you have to go to a DUI school or do community service?

Here are the basic laws regarding DUI fines and sentencing that apply to all states, or Pennsylvania specifically:

DUI/DWI Glossary of Terms
DUI/DWI Insurance Consequences
What Happens When You Get Stopped for Drunk Driving?
How Does a Drunk Driving Conviction Affect Your Record?

First Pennsylvania DUI Offense:

Pennsylvania Criminal Status: BAC Per Se: Ungraded Misdemeanor; High BAC: Ungraded Misdemeanor; Highest BAC: Ungraded Misdemeanor.

Jail: BAC Per Se: 6-month maximum sentence;
High BAC: 48 consecutive hours jail time, 6-month maximum sentence;
Highest BAC: 72 consecutive hours jail time, 6-month maximum sentence.

Pennsylvania DUI Fines/Costs:
BAC Per Se: $300
High BAC: $500-$5,000
Highest BAC: $1,000-$5,000

Pennsylvania License Suspension:
BAC Per Se: 2 month suspension
High BAC: 12 month suspension*
Highest BAC: 12 month suspension*
*Note: An occupational limited license may be available after serving a 2 month suspension.

Violation of Zero Tolerance Law: If you are arrested for DUI, the police will ask you to take a breath, blood, or urine test. If your BAC is 0.02% or higher, and you are convicted of DUI, you can expect:

  • Up to one-year driver's license suspension
  • Drug and alcohol evaluation
  • Fines (up to $500 for a first offense), court costs and restitution
  • To complete a state-approved Alcohol Highway Safety Program, if ordered by the court

If you're under 18, you may also have a juvenile complaint filed against you within 5 days, and may be adjudicated delinquent. Your parents will be notified of your arrest.

If you're 18-20, you may be ordered to Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program if you qualify. If you don't qualify, you will be sentenced to 48 hours in jail.

If you refuse to take a test, your driving privilege will be suspended for one year.

Pennsylvania Conditional License:
Occupational limited licenses are permitted for all first convictions, provided the offender first serves a 60-day license suspension. Driving is allowed for work and rehabilitation, and the number of driving hours a day is limited. In addition, a probationary license may be available that allows driving during certain hours of the day. However, there are strict qualification guidelines.

Vehicle Impound: none

Pennsylvania DUI School: Yes. First offenders (per se, high and highest) also require Alcohol Highway Safety School attendance. A first offense with a BAC of .16 and higher requires a mandatory drug and alcohol assessment and treatment. In addition, all DUI convictions, per se, high and highest, require a Court Reporting evaluation.

Pennsylvania Probation: Generally 6 months for all.

Pennsylvania Community Service: 150 hours possible.

Second Pennsylvania DUI Offense Plus:

Pennsylvania Criminal Status: BAC Per Se: Ungraded Misdemeanor; High BAC: Ungraded Misdemeanor; Highest BAC: 1st degree Misdemeanor.

Jail: BAC Per Se: 5 days to 6-month maximum sentence; High BAC: 30 days to 6-month maximum sentence; Highest BAC: 90 days to 6-month maximum sentence.

Pennsylvania DUI Fines/Costs:
BAC Per Se: $300-$2,500
High BAC: $750-$5000
Highest BAC: not less than $1,500

Pennsylvania License Suspension: 18 months for all.

Violation of Zero Tolerance Law:
If you are arrested for DUI, the police will ask you to take a breath, blood, or urine test. If your BAC is 0.02% or higher, and you are convicted of DUI, you can expect:

  • Up to one-year driver's license suspension
  • Drug and alcohol evaluation
  • Fines (up to $500 for a first offense), court costs and restitution
  • To complete a state-approved Alcohol Highway Safety Program, if ordered by the court.

If you're under 18, you may also have a juvenile complaint filed against you within 5 days, and may be adjudicated delinquent. Your parents will be notified of your arrest.

If you're 18-20, you may be ordered to attend the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program if you qualify. If you don't qualify, you will be sentenced to 48 hours in jail.

If you refuse to take a test, your driving privilege will be suspended for one year.

Pennsylvania Conditional License: A probationary license may be available that allows driving during certain hours of the day. However, there are strict qualification guidelines.

Vehicle Impound: none

Pennsylvania DUI School: Yes. Second offenders (per se, high and highest) also require Alcohol Highway Safety School attendance, which consists of 5, 2 ½ hour sessions at a cost of $150. In addition, all DUI convictions, per se, high and highest, require a Court Reporting evaluation.

Pennsylvania Probation: Yes. Generally 6 months, but it is at the court’s discretion.

Pennsylvania Community Service: 150 hours possible.

Other:

Commercial Vehicle: 0.04 BAC. For BACs up to .16%, the license suspension, prison time, fines and specifications for alcohol highway safety school and treatment are the same as for violations for the "high rate" of alcohol. For BACs of .16% or greater, the penalties are the same as violations of the highest rate of alcohol.
Under Age: 21
Pennsylvania Open Container Laws: Yes. Driver and passenger.
How long does a DUI stay on your record? A DUI in Pennsylvania stays on your driving record for 7 years.
Driver Responsibility Tax: N/A.
Ignition interlock device (IID):
First offense: No IID required
Second offense:
BAC Per Se: One year IID required.
High BAC: One year IID required.
Highest BAC: One year IID required.

More Pennsylvania DUI Information: Pennsylvania DUI Statutes, Resources - Do you need a DUI Lawyer? - Post Your Case to a Pennsylvania DUI Attorney. No Cost. No Obligation.