Pennsylvania

pennsylvaniaPennsylvania State Law

Pennsylvania DUI/DAI cases are unique, since there is no pre-trial administrative driver’s license suspension, as there is in many other states. The only driver’s license consequences are the ones imposed by the court.

Pennsylvania DUI/DAI cases may be referred to as drunk driving, driving under the influence (DUI), driving while impaired (DWI) or the new driving after imbibing (DAI). Pennsylvania has a 3-tier system of DAI penalties based on BAC (blood alcohol concentration) measured at the time of the arrest and no later than within 2 hours after operating the vehicle. Correspondingly, Tier 1 imposes the mildest set of punishments, Tier 3 with the most severe. However, other factors, such as presence or absence or property damage and personal injury as a result of DAI also matter and may be a basis for transferring the DAI offense to a higher category with more severe set of penalties, for example from Tier 1 to Tier 2 or Tier 2 to Tier 3. In addition, there are special categories of drivers with lower maximum allowable BAC levels, which affects which punishment tire they fall into. The range of punishment within each Tier also varies, being the mildest for 1st time DAI offenders, more severe for 2nd time offenders and most strict for those who get arrested to DAI in Pennsylvania for more than 2 times.

Three-tiered penalty system 
Separate penalties for those who drive with a blood alcohol content of:

General Impairment: 0.08 to less than 0.10%

  • First Offense – Misdemeanor: $300 fine, mandatory minimum 6 months’ probation, up to 150 hours of community service, possible attendance at victim impact panel, must attend alcohol highway safety school, and alcohol abuse screening and treatment as required.
  • Second Offense – Misdemeanor: $300 to $2,500 fine, not less than 5 days in jail, 12 months license suspension, 1 year ignition interlock restriction upon license reinstatement, up to 150 hours of community service, possible attendance at victim impact panel, mandatory alcohol highway safety school, and alcohol abuse screening and treatment as required.
  • Third Offense – Misdemeanor: $500 to $5,000 fine, not less than 10 days in jail, 12 months license suspension, 1 year ignition interlock restriction upon license reinstatement, up to 150 hours of community service, possible attendance at victim impact panel, and alcohol abuse screening and treatment as required.

High Rate of Alcohol – 0.10 to less than 0.16%

  • First Offense – Misdemeanor: $500 to $5,000 fine, not less than 48 hours in jail, 12 months license suspension (occupational restricted license may be available after first 60 days suspension), up to 150 hours of community service, possible attendance at victim impact panel, must attend alcohol highway safety school, and alcohol abuse screening and treatment as required.
  • Second Offense – Misdemeanor: $750 to $5,000 fine, not less than 30 days jail, 12 months license suspension, 1 year ignition interlock restriction upon license reinstatement, up to 150 hours of community service, possible attendance at victim impact panel, mandatory alcohol highway safety school, and alcohol abuse screening and treatment as required.
  • Third Offense – Misdemeanor: $1,500 to $10,000 fine, not less than 90 days in jail, 18 months license suspension, 1 year ignition interlock restriction upon license reinstatement, up to 150 hours of community service, possible attendance at victim impact panel,and alcohol abuse screening and treatment as required.

Highest Rate of Alcohol – 0.16 or higher

  • First Offense – Misdemeanor: $1,000 to $5,000 fine, not less than 72 hours in jail, 12 months license suspension (occupational restricted license may be available after first 60 days of suspension), up to 150 hours of community service, possible attendance at victim impact panel, mandatory alcohol highway safety school, and alcohol abuse screening and treatment as required
  • Second Offense – Misdemeanor: not less than $1,500 fine, not less than 90 days in jail, 18 months license suspension, 1 year ignition interlock restriction upon license reinstatement, up to 150 hours of community service, possible attendance at victim impact panel, mandatory alcohol highway safety school, and alcohol abuse screening and treatment as required.
  • Third Offense – Misdemeanor: not less than $2,500 fine, not less than 1 year in jail, 18 months license suspension, 1 year ignition interlock restriction upon license reinstatement, up to 150 hours of community service, possible attendance at victim impact panel, and alcohol abuse screening and treatment as required.

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