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DUI Conviction Penalties in Pennsylvania

Very few things are more disheartening for a driver than seeing the flashing lights of a police vehicle behind them. There are many reasons why police officers may initiate a traffic stop. Seeing signs of impaired driving is one of the most common.

A person who’s pulled over due to an officer’s suspicion of drunk driving will likely be asked to take a chemical test, perform a field sobriety test, or both. The results may lead to an arrest. If you’ve been arrested under these circumstances, you should understand the potential penalties you’re facing so you can better determine how to proceed with your defense.

General DUI penalties

There are many criminal penalties that you’ll face if you’re convicted of a DUI. They are generally determined by how many convictions you have and the blood alcohol concentration.

A person with a BAC of .08% to .99% can face:

  • 1st DUI conviction: Up to six months on probation and a $300 fine
  • 2nd DUI conviction: 12-month license suspension, five days to six months in jail, $300 to $2,500 fine, one-year ignition interlock
  • 3rd DUI conviction: 12-month license suspension, 10 days to 2 years in prison, $500 to $5,000 fine, 1-year ignition interlock

These penalties increase with a higher BAC.

High BAC penalties

High BAC penalties are for cases involving a BAC of .10% to .159%. These include:

  • 1st DUI conviction: 12-month license suspension, 48 hours to 6 months in prison, $500 to $5,000 fine
  • 2nd DUI conviction: 12-month license suspension, 30 days to 6 months in prison, $750 to $5,000 fine, 1-year ignition interlock
  • 3rd DUI conviction: 18-month license suspension, one to five years in prison, $1,500 to $10,000 fine, 1-year ignition interlock

Drivers with a higher BAC and those under the influence of a controlled substance risk even harsher penalties.

Highest BAC penalties

These penalties are reserved for people with a BAC of .16% or higher and those who are impaired by a controlled substance:

  • 1st DUI conviction: 12-month license suspension, 72 hours to 6 months in prison, $1,000 to $5,000 fine
  • 2nd DUI conviction: 18-month license suspension, 90 days to 5 years in prison, $1,500 to $10,000 fine, 1-year ignition interlock
  • 3rd DUI conviction: 18-month license suspension, one to five years in prison, $2,500 to $10,000 fine, 1-year ignition interlock

Individuals who are convicted of a DUI must also undergo treatment if the court orders it. If you’ve been arrested, you may also have to attend alcohol highway safety school. When you consider the severity of these penalties, it’s easy to see why you need someone on your side who understands these cases and can help you develop a strong defense strategy.