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How does a DUI affect your license in Pennsylvania?

On Behalf of | Nov 10, 2023 | Drunk Driving Charges

Driving under the influence jeopardizes your Pennsylvania license privileges. Upon arrest, the state automatically imposes an administrative suspension.

Understanding this consequence of a DUI can help you plan your next steps when awaiting your sentence.

Factors affecting license suspension

Pennsylvania determines the severity of license penalties by blood alcohol content. For a first offense with a BAC between 0.08% and 0.099%, the suspension period is typically six months.

If the BAC is 0.10% to 0.159%, the suspension increases to 12 months. A BAC of 0.16% or higher results in a 12-month suspension, plus additional penalties.

For subsequent DUI offenses, the license penalties become more severe. A second conviction within ten years results in an 18-month suspension. Three or more offenses within ten years lead to a license revocation of up to five years.

Pennsylvania has a zero-tolerance policy for underage drinking and driving. Drivers younger than 21 who get a DUI face a 90-day license suspension for a first offense.

Commercial drivers face stricter consequences for DUI offenses. A first offense results in a one-year disqualification of their commercial driver’s license (CDL). A second offense leads to a lifetime CDL disqualification.

Ignition interlock limited license

After serving part of the suspension period, you may be eligible for an ignition interlock limited license. With an ILLL, you can drive with an installed ignition interlock device. This breathalyzer prevents the vehicle from starting if it detects alcohol.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, more than 13,000 state residents had an IIID in 2022. These devices prevent about 90,000 annual drunk driving incidents.

License restoration requirements

To restore your license after a DUI in Pennsylvania, you must fulfill court-mandated penalties. The judge may order you to pay fines and complete an alcohol highway safety school program.

To help protect your driver’s license after a DUI arrest, keep all court dates and follow all requirements of your conviction. You can also seek substance abuse treatment to reduce your risk of subsequent offenses.