There are three levels of DUIs in Pennsylvania. The first level is general impairment, which is when a person has a blood alcohol concentration of .08 to .099 percent. The second level is a high BAC, which ranges between .10 and .159 percent. Finally, there is the highest BAC, which is .16 percent or higher.

With the new laws in Pennsylvania, minors, those who drive school vehicles, commercial drivers and those who cause an accident resulting in injuries or property damage may be subject to high BAC penalties, even if their BAC is not between .10 and .159 percent.

What happens if you have no DUIs on your record?

With no previous offense, this means that someone who is under 21, driving a school vehicle, or a commercial driver who caused an accident, will face a misdemeanor charge. Additionally, that individual faces up to six months in prison with a mandatory 48-hour minimum. The individual may face up to $5,000 in fines and could be ordered to alcohol highway safety school. If the individual is found to be abusing alcohol or drugs, treatment may be ordered by the court. If it is ordered, the individual must get treatment for addiction. With a high BAC penalty, you can have your license suspended for 12 months as well.

What happens if this isn’t your first offense?

These penalties may seem high for a first offense, but they only get worse from there. If you have a prior offense, you will still receive a misdemeanor and 12-month license suspension. Additionally, you face fines between $750 and $5,000 and must have an ignition interlock device for one year. You’ll face between 30 days and six months in prison, and you may need to get alcohol or drug abuse treatment. Alcohol highway safety school is also a requirement if you have received your second DUI offense in the high BAC category.

With such heavy penalties possible, it’s important to defend yourself. You may face some or all of these penalties depending on the circumstances of your case.