DUI LAWS IN PENNSYLVANIA

Information on DUI Laws in Pennsylvania

Understand Your Rights Under PA DUI Laws

Losing your license, spending time in jail and paying hefty fines are just a few punishments you face when charged with a DUI in Pennsylvania.

The penalties vary greatly, mostly depending on the BAC (blood alcohol content) level at the time of your arrest, but also on whether the DUI involved:

This web page explains the laws, penalties and sentencing a person faces if they have been arrested for DUI in Pennsylvania. It is general information that provides a guideline for what to expect if you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI.

The below guidelines DO NOT mean for certain that you will be sentenced and incur these fines and penalties. If you have not been convicted you still have a fighting chance to beat your DUI or have your sentencing reduced.

DUIs are Possible to Win in Court.

It is also possible to have the sentencing reduced through diversion programs. It is advisable to speak directly to an experienced Pittsburgh DUI attorney if you have been charged with a DUI.

A recent (2016) U.S. Supreme Court Ruling – The Birchfield Ruling – could actually mean that a past DUI conviction could be overturned or the sentencing could be drastically reduced, depending on the specifics of your case.

If you would like more specific information regarding your DUI case, Pittsburgh DUI Attorney Christopher Thomas is available to provide you with a FREE legal consultation: 412-765-3345.


SMA LAW GROUP: THE DIFFERENCE MAKERS
Don’t Give Up Without a Fight.

Contact Us Today for a Free Case Evaluation
412-765-3345


DUI – THE PENALTIES IN PENNSYLVANIA

BAC LEVELS, FINES, JAIL TIME & SENTENCING

Your BAC level, or blood alcohol content level, at the time of arrest plays a large factor in how you could be sentenced upon conviction, including how much time you will spend in jail, the amount of the fine, for how long you will lose your license and whether you will have a misdemeanor DUI or a felony DUI on your record.

There are three tiers of blood alcohol content (BAC) levels that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania uses as a general guideline for sentencing DUI convictions. They are as follows:

  1. Lowest Level BAC: .08 – .099
  2. High Level BAC: .10 – .159
  3. Highest Level BAC: .16 and higher

There are some exceptions to the sentencing levels. Regardless of your BAC level, you may fall into a higher sentencing guideline category if any of the following apply:

  • Minors or underage drinkers are punishable under High Level BAC.
  • If you are charged with DUI of a commercial vehicle or school vehicle, you are punishable under High Level BAC.
  • If you are charged with a DUI Accident or and Accident with Injuries, you are punishable under High Level BAC.
  • By refusing a blood test you will automatically be punishable under the highest BAC.
  • An arrest for DUI Controlled Substance is punishable under the highest BAC.

Punishments under the BAC Levels depend on whether it was a first offense DUI, second offense, or if you have had multiple DUIs.

1. LOWEST LEVEL BAC: .08 – .099

            FIRST OFFENSE – LOWEST LEVEL

  • Six months of mandatory probation
  • A $300 fine
  • Mandatory Alcohol Highway Safety School attendance
  • Mandatory treatment
  • A misdemeanor on your criminal record

    SECOND OFFENSE – LOWEST LEVEL

  • License Suspension – One Year
  • Five days to Six months in Jail
  • A $300 to $2,500 Fine
  • Mandatory Alcohol Highway Safety School attendance
  • Mandatory Ignition Interlock Program – One Year
  • A misdemeanor on your criminal record

2. HIGH LEVEL BAC: .10 – .159

      FIRST OFFENSE – HIGH LEVEL

  • License Suspension – One Year
  • A minimum of 48 hours in jail; maximum six months in jail
  • A $500 to $5,000 fine
  • Mandatory Alcohol Highway Safety School attendance
  • Mandatory treatment
  • A misdemeanor on your criminal record

      SECOND OFFENSE – HIGH LEVEL

  • License Suspension – One Year
  • Minimum of 30 days to six months in jail
  • A $750 to $5,000 Fine
  • Mandatory Alcohol Highway Safety School attendance
  • Mandatory Ignition Interlock Program – One Year
  • A misdemeanor on your criminal record

3. HIGHEST LEVEL BAC: .16 AND HIGHER

               FIRST OFFENSE – HIGHEST LEVEL

  • License Suspension – One Year
  • A minimum of 72 hours in jail; maximum six months in jail
  • A $1,000 to $5,000 fine
  • Mandatory Alcohol Highway Safety School attendance
  • Mandatory treatment
  • A misdemeanor on your criminal record

      SECOND OFFENSE – HIGHEST LEVEL

  • License Suspension – Eighteen Months
  • Minimum of 90 days to five years in prison
  • A $1,500 to $10,000 Fine
  • Mandatory Alcohol Highway Safety School attendance
  • Mandatory Ignition Interlock Program – One Year
  • A misdemeanor on your criminal record

Please see the Pennsylvania DUI Sentencing Guideline PDF for information on multiple DUIs and other types of DUI Sentencing.


SMA LAW GROUP: THE DIFFERENCE MAKERS
Don’t Give Up Without a Fight.

Contact Us Today for a Free Case Evaluation
412-765-3345


A DUI can be won in court.

Even though Pennsylvania has some tough guidelines for sentencing a DUI conviction, no case is ever hopeless. Several diversion programs exist for first time DUI offenders, which could make it possible to have your record wiped clean and avoid a lengthy license suspension.

There are also court ordered programs available to people who have multiple DUIs and it is possible to have your sentencing and fines greatly reduced if your lawyer makes a plea for one of these programs.

Each circumstance is unique and that is why an experienced DUI attorney can be of great value throughout the process.

At SMA Law Group we understand the challenges you face, but we also will fight aggressively for your freedom. We will closely investigate all evidence, police reports and talk to any witnesses that may be helpful in fighting for your liberties.

If the police did not follow proper procedures or have a valid reason to pull you over in the first place, it is possible to have your entire case dismissed and off your record.

In addition to having a case dismissed, there are many different ways to plea a case and our attorneys will take into account every possible factor in order to have your sentencing reduced and your license reinstated as soon as possible.

Learn more about winning a DUI case in PA

Pittsburgh DUI Attorneys That Can Make A Difference

Our DUI attorneys believe that people are inherently good. Lots of people make mistakes and some are falsely accused. A harsh punishment is rarely productive for anyone involved.

Defendants have families who also bear the burden of their loved one being sentenced to jail and losing their job or their license. Many people need treatment programs, not harsh sentencing.

Our aggressive and compassionate attorneys are here to guide you through a difficult time.

Call Pittsburgh DUI Lawyer Christopher Thomas for a free legal evaluation of your case.

Attorney Thomas is here to answer your questions, listen to your situation, explain your rights and offer the best steps to defending your rights and getting your future on track.


SMA LAW GROUP: THE DIFFERENCE MAKERS
Don’t Give Up Without a Fight.

Contact Us Today for a Free Case Evaluation
412-765-3345


Learn More About DUIs in Pennsylvania: