What are the penalties for a DUI conviction?

If you are convicted of driving under the influence in Pennsylvania, you could face serious consequences, even if this is your first DUI offense. Per the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, the level of your blood alcohol content plus any prior DUI convictions you have are taken into account when determining your penalties.

Pennsylvania has the following three DUI levels:

  1. General Impairment – a BAC of 0.08 percent to 0.099 percent
  2. High BAC – a BAC of 0.10 percent to 0.159 percent
  3. Highest BAC – a BAC of 0.016 percent or higher

You could face stiffer penalties than your BAC level calls for if you are a minor, a school bus driver, a commercial driver, or if you cause an accident that results in injuries or property damage.

First time offense penalties

If this is your first DUI conviction, the judge probably will order you to attend classes at an alcohol highway safety school regardless of your BAC category. He or she also may order you to complete an alcohol treatment program.

If your BAC level falls within the General Impairment range, your misdemeanor penalties could include a fine of $300 and probation for up to six months. If it falls within the High BAC range, your misdemeanor penalties could include the following:

  • Prison term of from 48 hours to six months
  • Fine of from $500 to $5,000
  • Suspension of your driver’s license for one year

If your BAC level falls within the Highest BAC range and/or if you were convicted of driving under the influence of a controlled substance, your misdemeanor penalties could include the following:

  • Prison term of from 72 hours to six months
  • Fine of from $1,000 to $5,000
  • Suspension of your driver’s license for one year

As your number of prior convictions increases, your penalties likewise increase. This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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