Everyone can make mistakes, but in the eyes of the law, driving under the influence cannot be dismissed with a simple slap on the wrist. Therefore, many states, including Pennsylvania, have come up with harsh ways to punish those convicted of DUI. These states hope that their harsh punishments will deter others from making the same decisions.
While the punishments for a first offense can be deemed somewhat extreme, the laws for subsequent convictions give more severe consequences. These laws are in place to keep people from becoming repeat offenders.
While these laws are meant to protect people, they can be exercised overzealously by prosecutors and judges. Certain people, some who are facing unfair charges or did not receive due process, may be treated in the same manner as those who have clearly committed an infraction. No matter the reason for your arrest, you have the right to hire an experienced Pennsylvania DUI attorney to defend your rights.
Penalties for a First DUI Offense in Pennsylvania:
Pennsylvania uses a system for DUI penalties based on the amount of blood alcohol content (BAC) detected at the time of the arrest. Here are the general sentences offered in an average case, although they can be heavily modified to fit the circumstances.
- BAC 0.08-0.09% – Probation that does not exceed 6 months and fines of approximately $300
- BAC 0.10-0.159% – No less than 48 hours and up to 6 months in jail; fines of $500 to $5,000; license suspended for 12 months.
- BAC 0.16% and up – Minimum 72 hours to maximum 6 months in jail; fines of $1,000 to $5,000; license suspended for 12 months.
Again, keep in mind that these are only general guidelines and are not inclusive of court fees and other monetary charges.
Penalties for Second DUI Offense in Pennsylvania:
- BAC 0.08-0.09% – Minimum of 5 days and up to 6 months in jail; $300 to $2,500 in fines; license suspended for 12 months.
- BAC 0.10-0.159% – 30 days to 6 months jail time; $750-$5,000 fines; license suspended 12 months.
- BAC 0.16% and up – 90 days to 5 years imprisonment; $1,500 – $10,000 fines; license suspended for 18 months.
- All BACs – Ignition interlock device installed for 1 year; up to 150 hours community service; Alcohol Highway Safety School enrollment; Alcohol and drug treatment program.
Penalties for Third DUI Offense in Pennsylvania:
- BAC 0.08-0.09% – 2nd degree misdemeanor charges; 10 days to 2 years incarceration; 12 month license suspension; $500 to $5,000 in fines.
- BAC 0.10-0.159% – 1st degree misdemeanor charge; 18 month license suspension; 1-5 years in prison; fines between $1,500 and $10,000.
- BAC 0.16% and up – 1st degree misdemeanor charges and penalties similar to above.
- All BACs – Drug and alcohol treatment; Alcohol Highway Safety School enrollment; ignition interlock device installed for minimum of 1 year.
In addition to the punishments imposed by the court, a person convicted of a DUI will see a rise in their insurance premiums, and they may find that holding a professional license is prohibited in certain situations.
How An Experienced Attorney Can Help You
When you are charged with DUI in Pennsylvania, you are facing harsh consequences that could very well disrupt your life for the foreseeable future. It is never a good idea to fight this battle alone. Don’t let a poor decision or mistake ruin your life. Our office is here to offer you the assistance you need and deserve.
Call us today to speak with a member of our team and schedule your free case evaluation. We will review the details of your unique situation and advise you of the best steps moving forward. You are not alone — call our team now.