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DUI in Pennsylvania

DWI in Pennsylvania

Have you been arrested for a DUI or DAI in Pennsylvania? Maybe you are considering handling the DUI case alone? Even if this is your first DUI offense, it may be a good idea to seek the legal advice of a Pennsylvania DUI lawyer. DUI attorneys are familiar with Pennsylvania DUI laws and can make sure you have all the facts before you make any decisions about your case.

Pennsylvania, like other states, has very high penalties for driving under the influence. Drivers who are convicted of a DUI may face:

  • Mandatory installation of an Ignition Interlock Device
  • Mandatory alcohol and highway safety courses
  • High penalties and fines
  • Required jail time
  • Increased insurance costs

DUI/DAI in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania refers to intoxicated driving as DUI which is "driving under the influence" or DAI which is "driving after imbibing". These terms are generally considered the same thing in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania drivers who have consumed an adequate supply of alcohol which has left them mentally or physically impaired can be charged with DUI, even if the amount consumed does not reach Pennsylvania's illegal limit. Evidence of impairment can include, but is not limited to, erratic driving, driving too slowly or driving the wrong direction. A Pennsylvania police officer may observe these types of suspicious behaviors and stop a driver.

Pennsylvania drivers may also be arrested if they are operating a motorized vehicle and their blood, breath or urine test indicates their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08% or higher. It is illegal for minors to drive with a BAC of 0.02% or higher. Drivers who are at the illegal BAC level do not have to exhibit any type of impairment to be arrested.

Penalties for DUI in Pennsylvania
The penalties for a DUI in Pennsylvania will vary depending on the circumstances of the arrest. The information provided below is general information and should not be considered legal advice. It is important to discuss the specifics of your DUI charge with a Pennsylvania DUI lawyer.

First Offense
General Impairment, Incapable of Safely Driving or BAC 0.08 - 0.99 %

  • Required to pay a fine of $300
  • Mandatory minimum 6 months of probation with mandatory attendance in an alcohol safety school and required alcohol treatment
  • Potential 150 hours of community service

Second Offense
General Impairment, Incapable of Safely Driving or BAC 0.08 - 0.99%

  • Required to pay a fine of $300 to $2500
  • Required to take an alcohol and safety course and compliance with all alcohol and drug treatment requirements
  • Mandatory 12 month license suspension
  • Required jail stay of 5 days to 6 months
  • Mandatory installation of an Ignition Interlock Device for one year
  • Potential 150 hours of community service

Third Offense
General Impairment, Incapable of Safely Driving or BAC 0.08 - 0.99 %

  • Required to pay a fine of $500 to $5,000
  • Mandatory 12 month license suspension
  • Required jail stay of 10 days to 2 years
  • Mandatory installation of an Ignition Interlock Device for one year
  • Potential 150 hours of community service
  • Required to take an alcohol and safety course and compliance with all alcohol and drug treatment requirements

High BAC 0.10 - 0.159 %, DUI with a Minor Driver in the car or DUI in a commercial vehicle
First Offense

  • Required to pay $500 to $5,000 in fines and penalties
  • Required to spend 48 hours and up to 6 months in jail
  • Required to take an alcohol highway safety course
  • Mandatory 12 month license suspension
  • Required to take an alcohol and safety course and compliance with all alcohol and drug treatment requirements
  • Potential 150 hours of community service

Second Offense

  • Required to pay $750 to $5,000 in fines and penalties
  • Required to spend 30 days and up to 6 months in jail
  • Required to take an alcohol highway safety course
  • Mandatory installation of an Ignition Interlock Device for one year
  • Mandatory 12 month license suspension
  • Required to take an alcohol and safety course and compliance with all alcohol and drug treatment requirements
  • Potential 150 hours of community service

Third Offense

  • Required to pay $1,500 to $10,000 in fines and penalties
  • Required to spend 90 days and up to 5 years in prison
  • Mandatory 18 month license suspension
  • Drug and alcohol treatment program
  • Mandatory installation of an Ignition Interlock Device for one year
  • Potential 150 hours of community service

Drivers who are arrested with a BAC of 0.16% or greater who refuse a BAC test or who are convicted of a controlled substance DUI will be charged with additional fines, license suspensions and prison time.

Hiring a Pennsylvania DUI lawyer
Drivers do not have to hire a DUI attorney to review or plead their DUI case, but even for first time offenders it is probably a good idea to talk to a DUI lawyer before pleading a case. Unfortunately, a DUI is not like other moving traffic violations. Pennsylvania DUI laws can be extremely complicated, and they vary by state. Find a DUI lawyer who specializes in DUI cases in the state of Pennsylvania to help you with your case.