All states take a specific approach to prosecuting driving under the influence, and Pennsylvania is no different. New legislation has actually classified levels of DUI into three categories instead of two that many states use with respect to filing aggravated charges. Penalties are enhanced at 0.10 BAC level as opposed to the 0.149 level in many other states. And then again, state legislators have set standards that allow for even more stringent measures for those who reach the higher BAC level when tested. As a trade off, they have removed the automatic license suspension for a first DUI that impacts so many drivers in other states and felony status for multiple offenders.
First-offense DUI in Pennsylvania below 0.10 BAC is considered general impairment drunk driving. It carries a $300 fine and six months probation. The court can also order alcohol education program completion or even chemical abuse treatment in some situations based on other case evidence.
Penalties get more serious with a second DUI conviction. Fines can be increased to $2500 with 5 days to six months in jail. Punishment can also include a driving suspension for one year as well as completing a 12-month alcoholic drivers education program or treatment. It also includes a one-year ignition interlock device installation in the defendant’s personal vehicle.
Third or greater offense
Convictions for a third or greater DUI are enhanced to a 2nd degree misdemeanor, which also differs from other states that file these intoxicated driving cases as felonies in some situations. Jail time can be increased to ten days up to two years imprisonment in some instances with fines increased up to $5000. The one-year driving suspension is the same.
It is important to remember that these penalties increase with a BAC at 0.10 or above even for a first offense. Cases filed based on 0.149 BAC can result in even harsher penalties.