A DUI conviction is a serious criminal offense in Pennsylvania and can come with serious consequences.

Even a first offense DUI conviction could leave you facing expensive fines, a license suspension and time in prison, depending on the specific circumstances.

If you’ve been arrested for a DUI in Pennsylvania then you need to speak with an experienced DUI defense lawyer who is knowledgeable about Pennsylvania drunk driving laws and who is willing to fight for you in court.

What Are The Penalties Of A DUI Conviction?

Pennsylvania DUI Penalties

Standard penalties for a DUI conviction in Pennsylvania can vary significantly depending on several factors including:

  • The alleged amount of alcohol in your body when you were driving
  • Any prior DUI convictions that you may have within the past 10 years
  • The DUI attorney that you choose to represent you

We believe that it is important for every individual who is arrested on charges of intoxicated driving to fully understand the potential consequences of a conviction before making a decision about how to proceed.

Below you will find information on standard penalties associated with a DUI conviction in several different scenarios.

First Offense DUI Conviction

The fines and penalties for a first offense DUI conviction will vary depending on your alleged BAC when you were driving.

Pennsylvania has three different types of DUIs which are categorized by BAC levels:

General Impairment (BAC of .08% – .099%)

In Pennsylvania, a general impairment DUI is when a driver is arrested for DUI with a blood alcohol concentration of anywhere between .08% and .099% when they are pulled over.

The standard consequences of a first offense general impairment conviction include:

  • 6 months of probation
  • $300 fine
  • $50 surcharge
  • Mandatory highway alcohol safety school
  • Drug or alcohol treatment (if ordered by court)
  • Community service (if ordered by court)

High Impairment (BAC of .10% – .159%)

A driver is charged with high impairment in Pennsylvania when he or she is arrested for intoxicated driving with a BAC of .10% to .159%.

Additionally, minors who are arrested for driving with a BAC of .02% to .0159% will be charged with a high impairment DUI.

The standard penalties and fines if convicted for a first offense high impairment DUI include:

  • 1 year of license suspension
  • 2 days to 6 months in prison
  • 1 year with ignition interlock device (IID)
  • $500 to $5,000 fine
  • $50 surcharge
  • Mandatory highway alcohol safety school
  • Drug or alcohol treatment (if ordered by court)
  • Community service (if ordered by court)

Highest Impairment (BAC of .16% or more) or Controlled Substance

The highest impairment penalties apply when a driver is convicted of DUI with a BAC of .16% or higher, and also when an individual is arrested for driving under the influence of a controlled substance.

Additionally, those who refuse a chemical test are subject to the penalties associated with a highest impairment DUI.

Individuals convicted of a first offense highest impairment DUI will face several penalties and fines including:

  • 1 year license suspension
  • 3 days to 6 months in prison
  • 1 year with ignition interlock device (IID)
  • $1,000 to $5,000 fine
  • $50 surcharge
  • Mandatory highway alcohol safety school
  • Drug or alcohol treatment (if ordered by court)
  • Community service (if ordered by court)

Second Offense DUI Conviction

Prior DUI offenses also come into play when determining the penalties and fines associated with a DUI conviction.

If this is your second DUI offense then you will be facing a higher tier of

Pennsylvania’s “look back” period is 10 years, which means that any DUI convictions that you’ve had within 10 years of your DUI arrest will be relevant for your sentencing if you are convicted of another DUI.

General Impairment (BAC of .08% – .099%)

The standard court-ordered penalties for a second offense general offense DUI conviction include:

  • 1 year of license suspension
  • 5 days to 6 months in prison
  • 1 year with ignition interlock device (IID)
  • $300 to $2,500 fine
  • $100 surcharge
  • Mandatory highway alcohol safety school
  • Drug or alcohol treatment (if ordered by court)
  • Community service (if ordered by court)

High Impairment (BAC of .10% – .159%)

Drivers who are convicted of a second offense DUI with a BAC between .10% – .159% face penalties including:

  • 1 year license suspension
  • 30 days to 6 months in prison
  • 1 year with ignition interlock device (IID)
  • $750 to $5,000 fine
  • $100 surcharge
  • Mandatory highway alcohol safety school
  • Drug or alcohol treatment (if ordered by court)
  • Community service (if ordered by court)

Highest Impairment (BAC of .16% or more) or Controlled Substance

The penalties for a second offense DUI with the highest impairment include:

  • 1st degree misdemeanor charge
  • 18 months of license suspension
  • 90 days to 5 years in prison
  • 1 year with ignition interlock system
  • $1,500 to $10,000 fine
  • $100 surcharge
  • Mandatory highway alcohol safety school
  • Drug and alcohol treatment
  • Community service (if ordered by court)

Third Offense DUI Conviction

The penalties associated with a DUI conviction become more severe for each repeat offense that an individual is convicted of.

General Impairment (BAC of .08% – .099%)

The standard penalties faced by individuals who are convicted of a third offense general impairment DUI include:

  • 2nd degree misdemeanor charge
  • 1 Year of License Suspension
  • 10 Days to 2 years In Prison
  • $500 – $5,000 Fine
  • $200 surcharge
  • Mandatory Highway Safety School
  • Drug or Alcohol Treatment (if ordered by court)
  • Community service (if ordered by court)

High Impairment (BAC of .10% – .159%)

The potential consequences of a third offense DUI conviction with high impairment include:

  • 1st degree misdemeanor charge
  • 18 months of license suspension
  • 90 days to 5 years in prison
  • 1 year with ignition interlock system
  • $1,500 to $10,000 fine
  • $200 surcharge
  • Mandatory highway alcohol safety school
  • Drug and alcohol treatment
  • Community service (if ordered by court)

Highest Impairment (BAC of .16% or more) or Controlled Substance

If convicted of a third DUI offense with the highest impairment then you could face many penalties including:

  • 1st degree misdemeanor charge
  • 18 months of license suspension
  • 1 year to 5 years in prison
  • $2,500 to $10,000 fine
  • $200 surcharge
  • Mandatory highway alcohol safety school
  • Drug and alcohol treatment
  • Community service (if ordered by court)

Other Consequences Of A DUI Conviction

The court-ordered penalties and fines are usually not the only consequences of a DUI conviction.

A DUI conviction can have many other effects on your life including your social life, future insurance policies, ability to get a job and much more.

Why Hire A DUI Attorney?

Many people who are arrested on DUI charges mistakenly believe that nothing can be done and that the only possible scenario after an arrest is a conviction with maximum charges.

However, this is not necessarily the case…

With the help of an experienced DUI defense attorney it may be possible to have the penalties associated with your arrest significantly reduced or even dismissed altogether.