How Much Does a DUI Cost in PA?

how much does a dui cost in pa

DUI is a costly charge for many reasons. Socially, your reputation may take a hit. Professionally, you may lose your job. Financially, the cost of the charge could put you in a hole that’s difficult to leave.

Between court-ordered fines, license reinstatement fees, and education and treatment costs, DUIs are no small expense. Thankfully, attorney Steven Kellis has the knowledge and experience to have your charges dropped or reduced. Mr. Kellis will use his 25+ years of trial experience and in-depth knowledge of state prosecution to develop a formidable defense strategy. 

Call us today at (215) 977-4183 to schedule your free case consultation.

How much is a DUI fine in PA?: First Offense

Pennsylvania has a $300 minimum and $500 maximum fine for first-time DUI offenders. This lowest level is known as a “general impairment” DUI and pertains to drivers with a BAC of at least .08% but less than .10%.

But those are just the penalties for the lowest possible BAC. Drivers with a BAC between .10 and .16% (High Rate) will face greater fines. Depending on their specific blood alcohol level, drivers who fall under this category of DUI will face fines between $500 and $5,000.

Drivers with the highest rate of DUI (BAC of .16% or more), who refuse breathalyzer testing, or who have controlled substances in their system at the time of arrest, face even higher fines. First-time offenders in the Highest Rate category face fines between $1,000 and $5,000.

However, these are just the court-ordered penalty fees. No matter your BAC level, you may be required to pay court fees for the handling of your case, which can range from $150 to $1,000 or more. 

Convictions will lead to a mandatory Court Reporting evaluation period, typically handled by a probation officer, which will also lead to monthly fees (around $35 for a minimum of six months). Restoring your license can likewise cost you $75 to $88 at PennDOT.

On top of all this, first-time offenders are required to attend Alcohol Highway Safety School, sometimes colloquially known as “DUI school,” which can charge between $200 and $1000 for a set of classes.

So, in total, just looking at low-end direct costs as a result of mandatory requirements, here are the first offense DUI fines you may face for your first DUI charge in Pennsylvania:

  • BAC .08 – .099%: $935 – $1,135
  • BAC .10 – .159%: $1,135 – $5,635
  • BAC above .16%: $1,635 – $5,635.

Those are steep debts to pay, but with the help of an experienced Pennsylvania DUI attorney, you may be able to have them greatly reduced. Just because you made a mistake and drove under the influence doesn’t mean you have to fall into debt. 

Let attorney Steven Kellis handle your case and work towards penalty reduction.

How much is a DUI in PA?: Second Offense

If this is your second DUI offense, you’re going to face harsher penalties and steeper fines than before. A general impairment DUI (BAC between .08 and .099%) will yield fines between $300 and $2,500. That’s significantly higher than the maximum fine for first-time general impairment offenders, and without a lawyer, it’s unlikely that you’ll only have to pay $300.

If your second offense falls under High Rate DUI (BAC between .10 and .159%), you’ll face fines between $750 and $5,000.

If your second offense falls under Highest Rate DUI (BAC of .16% or greater), you’ll have to pay fines between $1,500 and $10,000.

DUI Fees for a Third or Subsequent Offense

As you can probably imagine, third-offense DUIs carry the highest fines and penalties. For a third or subsequent offense under general impairment, you’ll have to pay $500 to $5,000. 

For a third offense under High Rate DUI, you’ll have to pay $1,500 to $10,000, and for a third-time Highest Rate DUI, you’ll be subject to pay $2,500 to $10,000 in fines.

Again, those are just the court-ordered penalty fees. For third or subsequent DUIs you’ll likely have to pay upwards of $20,000. Considering the median household income of $61,744 in Pennsylvania, DUI charges often leave individuals and families in financial ruin. 

Don’t risk losing more money; call DUI attorney Steven Kellis today. 

Weighing the Total Cost of Your DUI Offense

In addition to the costs outlined above, there are also secondary costs to consider. For instance, your state-mandated minimum liability coverage insurance premiums are likely to rise after you get a DUI conviction. These premium hikes can account for thousands a year.

Additionally, there are unpredictable costs if you lose your job, lose working hours traveling to DUI school or probation, and other such opportunity costs. Some like Bankrate estimate that a single DUI without property damage can still cost around $20,000.

Here’s a breakdown of the major costs of a first time DUI in Pennsylvania:

Minimum Fine: $300

Auto Insurance Increase: $2,000 to $6,000

Penalty Assessment: $50

State Restitution Fund: $100

Alcohol-Abuse Education Fund: $50

Blood/Breath Testing Fee: $37

Jail-Cite-and-Release Fee: $10

Driving/Alcohol-Awareness School: $375

License Reissue Fee: $60

Attorney Fees (average): $2,500

Total: $5,482 to $9,482

In all, you could be looking at more than $10,000 in associated fees after your arrest – and that’s just for a first-time DUI. The total cost of all fees, penalties, and fines associated with your second, third, or subsequent DUI will likely exceed $20,000.

These high costs are exactly the reason that anyone arrested for driving under the influence should find a reputable Pennsylvania DUI lawyer. The Law Offices of Steven E. Kellis offers free case consultations, so call (215) 977-4183 if you or someone close to you is arrested for DUI. To learn more about PA DUI lawyer fees, you may call the same number listed above.