What Are the Penalties for a DUI in Pennsylvania?
An arrest for a DUI in Pennsylvania is a serious matter. The potential consequences could be severe, including expensive fines, a suspended license, and even jail time. The severity of the penalties imposed will depend on your blood alcohol content (BAC) and whether you have one or more prior offenses. You should not take DUI lightly.
The penalties and fines could be significantly greater if you were arrested for driving under the influence of prescription medication or drugs. Additionally, underage drivers face stiffer penalties. If you are involved in an accident while driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you could be facing a felony charge.
At Young, Marr & Associates, our experienced Philadelphia DUI lawyers understand the law and the tactics law enforcement employ. A DUI charge will adversely impact your life for years, so it is critical to have an aggressive advocate fighting for your rights. If you were arrested for a DUI, call our law offices at (215) 372-8667.
Blood Alcohol Content
BAC, also known as blood alcohol level or blood alcohol concentration, is a measurement of intoxication used for medical and legal purposes. If you have 0.10 grams of alcohol for every 100 ml of blood in your system, your BAC is 0.10.
A sober individual has a BAC level of 0.0. However, if your BAC is 0.08, you are considered legally intoxicated. Anything above that level constitutes a serious impairment. A BAC of 0.40 or greater could be fatal.
DUI Penalties in Pennsylvania
In Pennsylvania, DUI penalties are categorized by a driver’s BAC level. The potential charges are further broken down by the number of previous offenses. Individuals under the influence of a controlled substance or who refuse to submit to a chemical test will face greater penalties. In addition to the sentences listed below, a court could add an additional 150 hours of community service to any DUI charge. If you or someone you know has a DUI you should contact an experienced Harrisburg DUI lawyer.
BAC 0.08% to 0.099% (General Impairment)
If it is your first offense, you could be charged with six months of probation, mandatory highway safety school, substance abuse treatment, and a $300 fine.
For someone with one previous DUI, the penalties include a one-year driver’s license suspension, five to six months in jail, mandatory highway safety school, substance abuse treatment, an ignition lock for one year, and fines ranging from $300 to $2,500.
For your third DUI offense, you are looking at a 2nd degree misdemeanor charge, ten days to two years in jail, a one-year driver’s license suspension, substance abuse treatment, an ignition lock for one year, and fines ranging from $500 to $5,000.
BAC 0.10% to 0.159% (High Level of Impairment)
For drivers arrested with a high level of impairment, the penalties and fines are drastically steeper.
If it is your first offense, you are looking at 48 hours to six months in jail. In addition, your license could be suspended for one year. You will also have to attend highway safety school and substance abuse treatments. Fines for a first offense range from $500 to $5,000.
For a second offense, your license is automatically suspended for one year, a one-year ignition lock, and you could be sentenced to thirty days to six months in jail. Once again, a DUI arrest will result in mandatory highway safety school and substance abuse treatment. Additionally, fines from $750 to $5,000 could be imposed.
If you have two previous offenses, you will be charged with a 1st degree misdemeanor and your license will be automatically suspended for eighteen months. Three-time offenders are facing ninety days to five years in prison. They also have to attend substance abuse. In addition to a one-year ignition lock, there will also be fines ranging from $1,500 to $10,000. Hire a Bucks County DUI defense lawyer to help you face these charges.
BAC 0.16% and over or Controlled Substances (The Highest Level of Impairment)
If your impairment is the highest level or you were charged with driving under the influence of a controlled substance, your first offense will result in a suspended license for one year. You will also have to attend highway safety school and substance abuse treatment. Additionally, you could be sentenced to seventy-two hours to six months in prison and fined from $1,000 to $5,000.
If you have one previous offense, you will be charged with a 1st degree misdemeanor, one-year ignition lock, and your license will be automatically suspended for eighteen months. You could serve anywhere from ninety days to five years in prison. In addition to the mandatory substance abuse treatment and highway safety school, the court could impose fines ranging from $1,500 to $10,000.
Three DUIs will result in a 1st degree misdemeanor charge, one to five years in prison, plus fines ranging from $2,500 to $10,000. Furthermore, your driver’s license will be automatically suspended for eighteen months, you will have to attend substance abuse treatment, and your car will have an ignition lock for one year.
Underage Drinking in Pennsylvania
As you can see from above, Pennsylvania treats DUIs seriously. The commonwealth has also enacted tougher laws to discourage underage drinking and driving. If you are caught drinking while younger than twenty-one, you could be facing a $500 fine and court costs. Additionally, your driver’s license could be suspended. The length of the license suspension depends on the number of offenses: one offense is ninety days, two is one year, and three or more is two years. If you do not have a license at the time of the charge, you will be prohibited from applying for one until the suspension is over.
Call Our Experienced Pennsylvania DUI Lawyers for a Free Consultation
Pennsylvania takes DUIs seriously, and so should you. If you or a loved one are facing a DUI charge, especially if it is your second or third offense, you need our Pennsylvania DUI lawyers fighting for your rights. There are defenses available and there may be ways to mitigate some of the potential charges. Do not let a DUI charge go unchallenged. Call Young, Marr & Associates at (215) 372-8667 to start preparing your defense.