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Pennsylvania DUI Laws & Penalties

Pennsylvania DUI

Pennsylvania DUI law changed in October of 2003 when the allowable BAC was lowered from .10% to a BAC of .08%. Then on February 1, 2004, a series of new penalties went into effect for those who get convicted of Pennsylvania DUI (or driving under the influence in Pennsylvania). The new penalties fall into a new three tier punishment system throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania DUI Laws Tier 1:

Tier 1 is considered General Impairment. General impairment is meant to describe those with BAC levels between .08% and .099%, and no property damage resulting from the DUI offense.

Pennsylvania DUI Laws Tier 2:

Tier 2 is considered a high rate of blood alcohol. This is for those with BAC levels between .10% and .159% (the BAC level must be measured within 2 hours of actually operating the vehicle), and those with resultant property damage or personal injury from the DUI offense. Even those with General Impairment BAC levels (less than .10%) can be placed in the Tier 2 category if there was property damage or personal injury.

Commercial drivers with a .04% BAC level and above and minors (under age 21) with BAC levels at or above .02% will also be considered Tier 2.

Pennsylvania DUI Laws Tier 3:

Tier 3 is reserved for the highest BAC level offenders. A Blood Alcohol Concentration of .16% or greater that is measured within 2 hours of operating a motor vehicle will land you in a Tier 3 status. Anyone who refuses to submit to a chemical test and have their BAC measured will be placed into Tier 3 status as well. In addition to a high BAC, any illegal drug(s) (if prescription drugs you must have a valid prescription) will also land you in Tier 3 status.

Pennsylvania DUI Punishments

PA Tier 1 Punishments

1st Offense PA DUI: No loss of driving privileges, six months maximum of probation, fine of $300 dollars, attendance at aDUI Driving School (highway, alcohol and safety program).

2nd Offense PA DUI: drivers license suspended for 12 months, jail time from 5 days to 6 months, fine of $300 - $2,500, DUI driving school (highway, alcohol and safety program), ignition interlock system for 1 year (if court orders).

PA Tier 2 Punishments

1st Offense PA DUI: drivers license suspended for 12 months (occupational license eligibility after 60 days), jail time from 48 hours to 6 months, fine between $500 - $5,000, DUI driving school (highway, alcohol and safety program).

2nd Offense PA DUI: drivers license suspended for 12 months, jail time from 30 days to 6 months, fine(s) between $750 - $5,000, DUI school (highway, alcohol and safety program), ignition interlock system for a period of 1 year.

PA Tier 3 Punishments

1st Offense PA DUI: drivers license suspended for 12 months (occupational license eligibility after 60 days), jail time between 72 hours and 6 months, fine(s) between $1,000 - $5,000, attend DUI driving school (safety, highway and alcohol program).

2nd Offense PA DUI: drivers license suspended for 18 months, jail time between 90 days and 5 years, minimum fine of $1,500, dui school (highway, safety and alcohol program), ignition interlock system for a period of 1 year.

Pennsylvania DUI ARD Program

In Pennsylvania, there’s another route for dealing with a DUI called the ARD program. ARD stands for Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition. This program is for first-time offenders, including DUI offenders, who would like to avoid the lengthy process of a trial and accept some alternate consequences.

If this DUI is your first offense, you may be eligible for the ARD program in Pennsylvania. If this isn’t your first DUI, you won’t be eligible for the program.

Pennsylvania DUI Attorneys

DUI Arrest Help.com has compiled a list of skilled DUI defense attorneys in Pennsylvania who have agreed to offer you a free initial consultation to discuss your case.  There is no obligation to use them, and you can get some great information about what you should do in this free consultation.  

Click here to speak with one of our Pennsylvania DUI attorneys.

SR22 Insurance Considerations for a PA DUI

SR22 auto insurance is required in the state of Pennsylvania after a DUI conviction.  This type of insurance is classified as 'high risk' meaning you are a higher risk to the insurance companies so consequently they will charge more for taking on more risk.  This can get very expensive if you sign up for one of these policies with the wrong company.

DUI Arrest Help.com has partnered with the largest and most trusted SR22 insurance provider in the state of Pennsylvania and has worked out a special discount only available here for our website visitors.

You won't be able to find a cheaper SR22 insurance policy in Pennsylvania for any less.  Type in your zip code below so we can provide you with the cheapest rates in your area.

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Other Pennsylvania DUI Resources

  • PA DUI First Offense -  Detailed first offense information including punishments after a first offense DUI in Pennsylvania.

  • Pennsylvania SR22 Insurance -  Learn everything you need to know about Pennsylvania SR22 filing requirements with the DMV and find out how you can save hundreds of dollars each year on your PA SR22 insurance.

  • Pennsylvania DUI Lawyers -   Contact one of our Pennsylvania DUI lawyers today.

  • Pennsylvania Substance Abuse Education - We offer a complete listing of Pennsylvania's approved substance abuse education programs.