Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is a very serious offense. It often leads to a large fine, a suspended license and jail time, not to mention the dangers others face when sharing the road with a drunk driver. In Pennsylvania, they employ a tiered approach toward DUI’s. This approach determines how they enforce charges and treatment for the offender.

The DUI law is divided into three levels of intoxication for those of legal drinking age:

  1. .08 to .099% BAC
  2. .10 to .159% BAC
  3. .16% BAC or higher

Penalties associated with average BAC levels (.08 to .099%)

Zero prior DUI charges: An ungraded misdemeanor, up to six months of probation, a $300 fine, alcohol highway safety school and alcohol treatment.

One prior DUI charge: An ungraded misdemeanor, 12 months of license suspension, anywhere from five days to six months in jail, a $300 to $2,500 fine, alcohol highway safety school, alcohol treatment and one year use of the ignition interlock system (this can allow you to drive.)

Two or more prior DUI charges: A second degree misdemeanor, 12 months of license suspension, 10 days to two years in prison, a $4,500 to $5,000 fine, alcohol treatment and the use of the ignition interlock system for one year.

Penalties associated with high BAC levels (.10 to .159%)

Zero prior DUI charges: An ungraded misdemeanor, license suspension for 12 months, 48 hours to six months in prison, a $500 to $5,000 fine, alcohol highway safety school and alcohol treatment.

One prior DUI charge: An ungraded misdemeanor, 12-month license suspension, 30 days to six months in prison, $750 to $5,000 fine, alcohol highway safety school, alcohol treatment and one year of using the ignition interlock system.

Two or more prior DUI charges: A first degree misdemeanor, 18 months of license suspension, 90 days to five years in prison, a $1,500 to $10,000 fine, alcohol treatment and one year of using the ignition interlock system.

Three or more prior DUI charges: A first degree misdemeanor, 18 months of license suspension, one to five years in prison, $1,500 to $10,000 fine, alcohol treatment and one year of using the ignition interlock system.

Penalties associated with extreme BAC levels (.16 or higher) or the use of a controlled substance

Zero prior DUI charges: An ungraded misdemeanor, license suspension for 12 months, 72 hours to six months in prison, a $1,000 to $5,000 fine, alcohol highway safety school and alcohol treatment.

One prior DUI charge: A first degree misdemeanor, 18 months of license suspension, 90 days to five years in prison, a $1,500 to $10,000 fine, alcohol treatment and one year of using the ignition interlock system.

Two or more prior DUI charges: A first degree misdemeanor, 18 months of license suspension, one to five years in prison, a $2,500 to $10,000 fine, alcohol treatment and one year of using the ignition interlock system.

Fines

Below you will find the typical fines for everything associated with a DUI dependent based on your BAC, the location, and your number of offenses.

  • Traffic fine: $300 to $10,000
  • Vehicle tow: $50 flat fee (plus mileage)
  • Legal fees: $2,000 to $8,000 or more
  • Alcohol treatment: $35 to $100
  • Accelerated rehabilitative disposition (ARD): $100 to $1,800
  • Alcohol education and treatment: $100 to $1000 or more
  • Reinstatement fee for non-commercial license: $25
  • Reinstatement fee for commercial license: $75
  • A rise of your insurance premium of around $1,000 per year unless you cancel your policy

Penalties for minors

Pennsylvania dos not pull any punches when charging minors (under 21) when convicted of a DUI. If a minor is convicted of a DUI with a BAC of 0.02% or greater, the penalties will include: a license suspension of 12 to 18 months, a jail sentence of 48 hours to six months and a fine ranging from $500 to $5,000.

There are more details you can read about the specifics of penalties associated with DUI’s.

As you can see, impaired driving is no laughing matter in Pennsylvania.