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Pennsylvania First Offense DUI Penalties

What are the Penalties for a First Offense DUI in Pennsylvania?

Jail Time: Minimum 48-72 hours in county jail, at least 48 hours of which must be continuous; maximum six months in county jail.
Fine: $300-1,500

Treatment: It may be imposed by the judge that a first time drunk driving offender must attend Alcohol Safety School, and receive alcohol treatment.

Drivers License Suspension: Minimums of no suspension, maximum suspension of one year.  Additionally, the court will require the person to surrender their driver’s license to the court for the duration of the suspension.

Restricted License: First time drunk driving offenders may be eligible for what’s called a “bread and butter” license, after they have served a 60-day suspension.  A bread and butter license only allows drivers to travel to work, school, and medical appointments.

Refusal of a Blood Alcohol Test: If an individual deliberately refused a peace officer’s request to submit to a chemical test for BAC, their punishment will be enhanced by:

  1. Minimum 72 continuous hours in county jail.
  2. One additional year of license suspension.

Commercial Vehicle Involved: A driver of a commercial motor vehicle may not operate a commercial motor vehicle for one year.

Defendant 13-18 Years Old: If the offense was committed while the individual was 13-18 years old, the court will suspend the individual’s driving privileges for one year.

Defendant Under 18 Years Old: The length of the license revocation will be either:

  • Until the person reaches 18 years of age.
  • One year.
  • For the period prescribed for restriction, suspension, or revocation.

Minor Passenger in Car: If an individual is convicted of a first time drunk driving offense, and a minor under 14 years of age was a passenger in the vehicle at the time of the offense, there is a minimum sentencing of 48-72 continuous hours in county jail.

DUI Penalties in Pennsylvania With No DUI Offenses in Last 10 Years

BAC 0.08%-0.099%

  • Ungraded Misdemeanor
  • Imprisonment: None (Six-month maximum probation)
  • Fine: $300
  • License Suspension:  None
  • Required CRN, AHSS (Alcohol Highway Safety School), and possible D&A

BAC 0.10%-0.159%

  • Ungraded Misdemeanor
  • Imprisonment: (Mandatory) 48 hours to xix months
  • Fine: $500-$5,000
  • License Suspension: 12 months, but possible OLL (Occupational Limited License) after two months of license suspension
  • Required CRN, AHSS and possible D&A

BAC 0.16% or Higher, Refusal to Give Blood or Breath Sample, Drugs in System

  • Ungraded Misdemeanor
  • Imprisonment:  (Mandatory) 72 hours-six months
  • Fine:  $1,000-$5,000
  • License Suspension:  12 months, but possible OLL (Occupational Limited License) after two months of license suspension.
  • Required CRN, AHSS and mandatory full D&A

Pennsylvania’s Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) Program

ARD is available to first time offenders only.
Charges:  Dismissed one year after classes, fines, and/or community service have been successfully completed.
License Suspension – No Suspension – 60-day Suspension depending on BAC. Eligibility for ARD is the sole discretion of District Attorney.



icon car - Criminal Defense

Learn what to do if you have been stopped for DUI/DWI.

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If this is your first DUI offense, you may be eligible for ARD.



Commonwealth v. "H" (DUI case)

Client was charged with three separate DUI cases calling for mandatory minimum imprisonment of 90 days on each case. Client was advised to seek immediate intensive alcohol counseling. Client was sentenced to 1 year of house arrest after serving 3 days in the county prison.


Commonwealth v. "C" (Felony drug/Firearms case)

Client was charged with felony Delivery of drugs and illegal gun possession and was facing a mandatory 3-6 year prison sentence in the State prison system. Client was sentenced to one year of house arrest.


Commonwealth v. "S"

Client was charged with simple assault, domestic. After a hearing where evidence and testimony was presented, the entire case was dismissed by Judge Leonard Brown.


State of New Jersey v. "H"

Charges for young man charged with second degree aggravated assault were downgraded to third degree and he was accepted into the County Pretrial Intervention program with charges to be dismissed and record expunged after one year of misconduct free behavior.


We have decades of experience dealing with local police departments, prosecutors, and judges throughout southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Anyone facing charges involving a criminal offense can expect to experience a heightened degree of emotional turmoil, for themselves, as well as their family members. Our team of highly qualified criminal law attorneys and expert legal support staff are committed to providing each of our client’s with the compassion and understanding they deserve, as well as an aggressive plan for representation at an affordable price.

As former prosecutors, we have a balanced and in-depth understanding of the criminal justice system and how the prosecution prepares cases. In addition, we have long-standing experience dealing with local police departments, prosecutors and judges throughout southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

At Young, Marr and Associates, when we say “experience matters,” we mean it. Our lawyers, which include two former prosecutors and a former senior deputy district attorney bring more than three decades of criminal law experience, handling more than 10,000 criminal cases. It is precisely that experience that allows us to achieve outstanding results for our clients facing DUI, traffic, felony and misdemeanor charges in state, federal and juvenile courts.