PA DUI Laws: An Overview

Penalties for driving under the influence vary from state to state. Over time these laws can change as well. Within the past decade or so, every state has conformed to the federal legal limit for intoxication of .08% BAC. Some states however, like Pennsylvania, have gone a step further to try and restrict drunk driving as much as possible. The following guide is meant as an overview of penalties and laws regarding PA DUI law instances in the state of Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania uses tiered penalties in determining the consequences of a DUI conviction. This means that not only are you issued penalties for driving over the legal limit based on whether it’s your first offense or not, but also based on just how far over the legal limit you are. The tiers are: .08-.099,.1-.159,.16 and above or any controlled substances.

First Offense

For a BAC of .08 to .99, the penalty for a first time offense is a $300 and six months’ probation. For .1 to .159 it is a one year license suspension, between 2 days and 6 months in jail, between $500-$5000 in fines. For BAC of .16 and above or a controlled substance, the penalty is one year license suspension, between 3 days and 6 months in jail, and between $1000 and $5000 in fines.

Second Offense

For a second offense with a BAC of .08-.99, the penalty is one year license suspension with one year of IID use after reinstatement, $300-$2500 in fines, 5 days to 6 months in jail. BAC of .1-.159 increases the fine to $750-$5000 and jail time to between 30 days and six months. BAC of .16 or controlled substance increases penalty to 18 month license suspension with an automation misdemeanor charge, as well as between 90 days and 5 years in jail with a fine of $1500-$10,000. Third offenses and beyond increase exponentially.

Implied Consent

Pennsylvania is an implied consent state, meaning that as part of obtaining a driver’s license you must agree to submit to blood, urine, or breath testing in the case of an officer suspecting intoxication. If you refuse to submit your license is automatically suspended for one year. If you refuse to submit to a test two or more times, the suspension period rises to 18 months for refusing.

Restricted License

After 60 days of license suspension, you are allowed to apply for a restricted driver’s license. This type of license allows you to drive to and from places like work and school while limiting your ability to drive anywhere else. This enables the state to reasonably enforce longer periods of license suspension without overly impacting the individual’s livelihood.

Other Information

Pennsylvania has lower BAC limits for commercial drivers and underage drivers, with the legal limit of intoxication for commercial drivers being .04 rather than .08, and underage drivers being .02. The individual judge in court also has the ability to add to mandatory penalties a period of 150 hours community service and/or mandatory drug and alcohol treatment classes and an alcohol highway safety program similar to traffic school.

If you’ve been arrested for a DUI in Pennsylvania, check out or DUI Lawyer Directory and get a consultation for the road ahead. Never drink and drive.

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