Driving under the influence is a serious offense because it endangers both the driver and everyone else on the road. A first offense carries steep penalties in the state of Pennsylvania, but second DUIs include even higher consequences.

DUI laws are nuanced in Pennsylvania. They include a variety of exemptions and special circumstances that can alter penalties. However, standard penalties most commonly apply.

General impairment BAC

The basic penalties for a second DUI with a General Impairment blood alcohol concentration (BAC) rate—0.08-0.099—include:

  • Ungraded misdemeanor
  • 12-month license suspension
  • 5 days to 6 months jail time
  • $300 to $2,500 fine
  • Alcohol highway safety school
  • Treatment, if necessary
  • 1-year ignition lock

High BAC

If there is a high BAC (0.10-0.159), the penalties go up significantly. The previous jail time increases to a minimum of 30 days to 6 months in prison. The fine is $750 minimum and can cost up to $5,000.

Highest BAC

In the event of the highest BAC (0.16 and higher), the consequences are extremely severe. The misdemeanor accelerates from ungraded to 1st degree. The license suspension increases from 12 to 18 months. Prison time can be anywhere from 90 days to 5 years, and the fine is a minimum of $1,500 with a maximum fine of $10,000.

All levels include the alcohol safety school, treatment when ordered, and the ignition lock.

What does this mean for drivers with a prior DUI?

For the individual with a DUI conviction on their record, avoiding a second DUI is paramount. While a first-time DUI is damaging, a second DUI can seriously derail your future with consequences like significant prison time and hefty fines. Take care to use rideshares or designated drivers on nights out to ensure no further additions to your record.