The Philadelphia DUI Law Blog

What Are Pennsylvania's DUI Penalties?

Let's say you are arrested for drunken driving in Pennsylvania. Probably the first question you'll be asking your attorney is: What are Pennsylvania's DUI penalties?

There are a lot of factors that go into the exact drunken driving penalty you face.

Some factors considered include how many prior DUI convictions are on your record, your blood alcohol content at the time of arrest, whether anyone was injured or any property was damaged, and even the type of vehicle you were driving.

Here's an overview of the DUI penalties in Pennsylvania:

First DUI in 10 Years

If this is your first DUI and there are no enhancing factors, then you face an ungraded misdemeanor charge and a mandatory six-month probation period. You also face a $300 fine, but can avoid a license suspension.

However, if you have any of the following moderate enhancing circumstances, you could face greater penalties:

  • A blood alcohol content above 0.10 percent, but less than 0.16 percent.
  • You cause property damage or personal injury.
  • You are driving a commercial vehicle or school vehicle.

With these moderate enhancing circumstances, you face an ungraded misdemeanor charge, a mandatory 48 hours in jail, a minimum $500 fine, and a 12-month license suspension.

With the following severe enhancing factors, you face the most serious penalties:

  • A blood alcohol content 0.16 percent or higher.
  • Refusal of a Breathalyzer test.
  • Being under the influence of controlled substances.

The most severe penalties can include an ungraded misdemeanor charge, a 72-hour jail sentence, a minimum $1,000 fine, and a 12-month license suspension.

Second DUI in 10 Years

If there are no enhancing factors, you face an ungraded misdemeanor charge, a minimum five-day jail sentence, minimum $300 fine, and a 12-month license suspension. You will also need to install an ignition interlock in your vehicle for one year.

With any of the moderate enhancing factors mentioned above, you face an ungraded misdemeanor charge, a minimum 30-day jail sentence, minimum $750 fine, a 12-month license suspension, and a one-year ignition interlock requirement.

With severe enhancing factors, you face a Misdemeanor 1 charge, a minimum 90-day jail sentence, a $1,500 fine, an 18-month license suspension, and a one-year ignition interlock requirement.

Third DUI in 10 Years

If there are no enhancing factors, you face a Misdemeanor 2 charge, a minimum 10-day jail sentence, minimum $500 fine, a 12-month license suspension, and a one-year ignition interlock requirement.

With moderate enhancing factors, you face a Misdemeanor 1 charge, a minimum 90-day jail sentence, minimum $1,500 fine, an 18-month license suspension, and a one-year ignition interlock requirement.

With severe enhancing factors, you face a Misdemeanor 1 charge, a minimum one-year jail sentence, minimum $2,500 fine, an 18-month license suspension, and a one-year ignition interlock requirement.

Fourth DUI in 10 Years

If there are no enhancing factors, you face a Misdemeanor 2 charge, a minimum 10-day jail sentence, minimum $500 fine, a 12-month license suspension, and a one-year ignition interlock requirement.

With moderate enhancing factors, you face a Misdemeanor 1 charge, a minimum one-year jail sentence, minimum $1,500 fine, an 18-month license suspension, and a one-year ignition interlock requirement.

With severe enhancing factors, you face a Misdemeanor 1 charge, a minimum one-year jail sentence, minimum $2,500 fine, an 18-month license suspension, and a one-year ignition interlock requirement.

Five or More DUIs in 10 Years

At this point, you'll have to ask your lawyer to learn the penalties you might face.

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