DUI Penalties

Pennsylvania D.U.I. Penalties

Pennsylvania law provides that a person’s Blood Alcohol Level (BAC) and the number of times the person has committed a DUI will dictate what punishment they will receive. As of February 2, 2004 there are three categories a person will fall into based on the level of the alcohol in their system. There is
a) .08%-.099%
b) .10% – .159%
c) .16% and higher
Included in this category are refusal to submit to a test. All of the categories require a Court Reporting Network (CRN) evaluation; the first and second offenders require Alcohol Highway Safety. (AHSS). BAC .16 or higher and all subsequent offenses require a mandatory Drug and Alcohol (D&A) assessment and treatment. All second and subsequent offense requires the installation of an Ignition Interlock System.

FIRST OFFENSE

(NO PRIOR PA DUI OFFENSES WITHIN THE LAST 10 YEARS) BAC is .08% to .099%. This is an ungraded misdemeanor with a 6 month maximum probation and a $300.00 fine. Required CRN, AHSS and possible D&A. There is no loss of license and no jail time with this particular category.

BAC is .10% to .159%. This is an ungraded misdemeanor with a mandatory 48 hour imprisonment up to a possible 6 months and a $500.00 to $5,000.00 fine. Required CRN, AHSS and possible D&A. The license suspension is 12 months. However there is a possibility to get an Occupational Limited License (OLL) after serving a hard 2 month suspension.

BAC is .16% or higher or refusal to give a blood or breath sample. This is ungraded misdemeanor with a mandatory 72 hour imprisonment up to a possible 6 months and a $1,000.00 to $5,000.00 fine. Required CRN, AHSS and mandatory full D&A. The license suspension is 12 months. Also possibility for OLL after serving hard 2 months suspension.

SECOND OFFENSE

BAC is .08% to .099%. This is an ungraded misdemeanor with a mandatory 5 days imprisonment 6 month maximum jail sentence and a $300.00 to $2,500.00 fine. The license suspension is for 12 months. Required CRN, AHSS, D&A and Ignition Interlock for 12 months.

BAC is .10% to .159%. This is ungraded misdemeanor with a mandatory 30 days imprisonment 6 month maximum jail sentence and a $750.00 to $5,000.00 fine. The license suspension is for 12 months. Required CRN, AHSS, D&A and Ignition Interlock for 12 months.

BAC is .16% or higher or a refusal. This is graded as a misdemeanor of the First Degree with a mandatory 90 days imprisonment 5 year maximum jail sentence and a $ 1,500.00 to $10,000.00 fine. The license suspension is for 12 months. Required CRN, AHSS, D&A and Ignition Interlock for 12 months.

THIRD OFFENSE

BAC is .08% to .099%. This is graded as misdemeanor of the Second Degree with a mandatory 10 days imprisonment 2 year maximum jail sentence and a $500.00 to $5,000.00 fine. The license suspension is for 12 months. Required CRN, D&A and Ignition Interlock for 12 months.

BAC is .10% to .159%. This is graded as a misdemeanor of the First Degree with a mandatory 90 days imprisonment 5 year maximum jail sentence and a $1,500.00 to $10,000.00 fine. The license suspension is for 18 months. Required CRN, D&A and Ignition Interlock for 12 months.

BAC is .16% or higher or a refusal. This is graded as a misdemeanor of the First Degree with a mandatory 1 year imprisonment 5 year maximum jail sentence and a $ 2,500.00 to $10,000.00 fine. The license suspension is for 18 months. Required CRN, D&A and Ignition Interlock for 12 months.

FOURTH OFFENSE

BAC is .08% to .099%. This is graded as misdemeanor of the Second Degree with a mandatory 10 days imprisonment 2 year maximum jail sentence and a $500.00 to $5,000.00 fine. The license suspension is for 12 months. Required CRN, D&A and Ignition Interlock for 12 months.

BAC is .10% to .159%. This is graded as a misdemeanor of the First Degree with a mandatory 1 year imprisonment 5 year maximum jail sentence and a $1,500.00 to $10,000.00 fine. The license suspension is for 18 months. Required CRN, D&A and Ignition Interlock for 12 months.

BAC is .16% or higher or a refusal. This is graded as a misdemeanor of the First Degree with a mandatory 1 year imprisonment 5 year maximum jail sentence and a $ 2,500.00 to $10,000.00 fine. The license suspension is for 18 months. Required CRN, D&A and Ignition Interlock for 12 months.

A.R.D. PROGRAM (Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition)

One major opportunity to prevent having a “criminal record” is to seek admission to the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (A.R.D.) Program. The A.R.D. Program not only allows for the expungement of one’s criminal record, but also allows you to avoid jail with lesser license suspension penalties. Admission into the A.R.D. program does not result in a criminal conviction. As admission to the A.R.D. Program is a “privilege” and not a “right”, applying for the Program in a timely and appropriate manner is of critical importance.

Admission to the A.R.D. Program is for first-time offenders of non-violent crimes that meet certain strict criteria. We can quickly review your case and advise you on your eligibility for the A.R.D. Program and the options you have if you are not eligible for the Program.

The new DUI law, as identified in the chart above, requires “mandatory” penalties of jail time and lengthy license suspensions if you are not eligible for A.R.D., or if you are a multiple DUI offender.

It is critically important to contact a defense attorney knowledgeable of the new DUI law in order to familiarize yourself with the nature of the charge, the seriousness of the charge and what options are available to you. Furthermore, it is important to understand how the legal penalties of jail, license suspensions, and convictions can impact on your employment, education, and career. For instance, a criminal conviction goes on your “record” and in most instances will remain there forever.