While Pennsylvania law takes every charge of driving under the influence (DUI) seriously, the law punishes repeat offenders severely. If you have been charged with a second or third DUI offense, you could face jail time, fines and other penalties.

Second DUI offenses

Drivers with a previous DUI conviction on their record face more significant penalties and fines after a second offense. These include:

  • Jail time—5 days to 6 months of jail time, with longer sentences for drivers with a BAC of over .16
  • Fines—At least $300 in fines, with up to $10,000 in fines for higher BAC
  • License suspension—12 months license suspension, with longer term suspension for a BAC over .16
  • Ignition interlock device—A device will be installed for one year

In addition to these requirements, the court may order community service, required treatment programs or Alcohol Highway Safety School enrollment.

Third or fourth DUI offenses

The penalties for conviction on a third DUI offense are even more severe.

  • Jail time—A minimum of 10 days of jail time, with some multi-year sentences for higher BAC
  • Fines—At least $500 in fines, though many fines reach thousands of dollars
  • License suspension—12 months license suspension for drivers with a BAC of less than .10, with longer term suspension for higher BAC
  • Ignition interlock device—A device will be installed for a minimum of one year

If drivers have a BAC of .16 or higher on their third offense within ten years, the authorities will charge them with a felony instead of a misdemeanor.

No matter what BAC a driver has when arrested, their fourth offense will be a felony rather than a misdemeanor.

What should you do after drunk driving charges?

With such serious penalties for drunk driving, you should speak to an attorney if the police charge you with a DUI. An experienced lawyer can build a defense that protects your freedom and works to ensure that the consequences you face do not create long-term damage to your life, your career and your freedom.