What are the DUI penalties in Pennsylvania?

DUI penalties in Pennsylvania are based on the amount of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) recorded at the time of the arrest. Here are the general sentences, for an average case, for a first DUI offense. Penalties can be modified to suit the circumstances of the case.

  • BAC 0.08-0.09 percent – Probation not in excess of 6 months and fines of approximately $300
  • BAC 0.10-0.159 percent – 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 percent and up – Minimum 72 hours to maximum 6 months in jail; fines of $1,000 to $5,000; license suspended for 12 months.

First-Time DUI Conviction Alternatives

A first-time offender may qualify for a deferred verdict and a period of probation. If the probationary period concludes successfully, the offense may be expunged. A first-time offender may also be able to qualify for the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program, which allows participants to, among other things, attend alcohol education classes. If the program is successfully completed, the offense is removed from the driver’s record.

Second DUI Offenses in Pennsylvania

If a driver is convicted of a second DUI within 10 years, there are mandatory jail terms and, most likely additional penalties. 

Penalties for a Second DUI Offense

The higher the BAC, the more severe penalties are likely to be. Fines levied if convicted of DUI vary depending on the BAC level:

  • BAC 0.08-0.09 percent – 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 percent – 30 days to 6 months jail time; $750-$5,000 fines; license suspended 12 months.
  • BAC 0.16 percent 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 one year; up to 150 hours community service; Alcohol Highway Safety School enrollment; alcohol and drug treatment program.

Defending Against Second-Time DUI Charges

Many DUI charges can be defensible, based on the evidence surrounding the charges and any missteps that authorities may have made during the process. Any possible errors by police and/or prosecutors could lead to reduced penalties or charges being dismissed.

Third DUI Offenses in Pennsylvania

If you have been convicted of two prior DUIs in the past 10 years, depending on the BAC level at the time of arrest, consequences may include:

  • BAC 0.08-0.09 percent – 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 percent – 1st-degree misdemeanor charge; 18 month license suspension; 1-5 years in prison; fines between $1,500 and $10,000.
  • BAC 0.16 percent 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 a minimum of 1 year.

Other DUI FAQs: