Pennsylvania imposes severe penalties for driving under the influence through the state’s zero tolerance program. The legal consequences of DUI vary depending on the driver’s level of impairment as measured by a blood or breath test.
Before facing a DUI court date in Pennsylvania, understand the potential penalties for a conviction.
Penalties for general impairment
An arrest for blood alcohol content ranging from 0.08% to 0.099% constitutes general impairment in Pennsylvania. Penalties for the first offense may include six months probation and up to $300 in fines.
The second offense carries up to six months in jail and between $500 and $2,500 in fines, along with a one-year license suspension and a one-year ignition interlock device requirement upon reinstatement. Third and subsequent offenses can result in fines of up to $5,000 and two years of jail time.
Penalties for high impairment
BAC ranging from 0.10% to 0.159% falls into the category of high impairment. Offenders can receive a one-year license suspension, up to $5,000 in fines and up to six months in prison for the first offense. Subsequent convictions can result in an 18-month license suspension with IID requirement, fines of up to $10,000 and up to five years in prison.
Highest impairment penalties
Fines double for offenders who have a BAC of 0.16% or higher, are under the influence of drugs and/or refuse a breath test at the time of arrest. Otherwise, penalties are the same as for the high-impairment category.
Offenders in all categories may receive court referral to alcohol highway safety school. In some cases, the judge may require treatment for substance use disorder. Some offenders can seek exemption from IID and suspension requirements for employment or financial hardship reasons. Other costs involved with a DUI in Pennsylvania include a $50 towing fee, an impound fee of $75 to $175 per day, a license restoration fee and a higher insurance premium.