Much like many other states, Pennsylvania takes the crime of driving under the influence (DUI) very seriously. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, DUI penalties vary depending on a number of factors.
Understanding the different penalties is crucial in the event the police stop you while driving and charge you with a crime. It can also help you identify possible violations of the law or mistakes when it comes to the charges you receive.
As an ungraded misdemeanor, a first DUI offense incurs a $300 fine and no more than six months probation. Depending on the situation, you may also undergo substance abuse treatment and attend a highway safety class explaining the dangers of driving while intoxicated. Substance abuse treatment and safe driving classes are associated with all offenses, regardless of your prior history.
While still an ungraded misdemeanor, second offenses incur stiffer penalties. Jail terms range from five days to no more than six months, while fine amounts range from $300 to a maximum of $2,500. A year-long license suspension is also possible, as is driving with an ignition interlock device on your vehicle for a period of one year.
Two or more offenses
When you have two or more prior offenses on your record, you will receive a 2nd degree misdemeanor charge. Along with a year-long suspension and ignition interlock installation, you can also receive a jail term ranging from ten days to two years. Fines also increase, ranging from $500 to $5,000.
The above information applies to people with a blood alcohol content (BAC) ranging from .08% to .099%. Enhanced penalties apply to BACs ranging between .10% to .159%. And for BACs .16% and greater, penalties increase even further.