Every state has DUI laws developed by their own legislature. Some are stricter than others. It all depends on the will of the people. In Pennsylvania, a review of their DUI laws shows right away that they take the issue of drunk driving very seriously.
Pennsylvania DUI laws have three distinct classifications. These are driving under the influence (DUI), driving while impaired (DWI) or driving after imbibing (DAI). The simple truth is that if you are in Pennsylvania are having a drink, you better be a passenger.
Pennsylvania BAC Levels
Blood alcohol content (BAC) tests are used to measure the amount of alcohol in your system. Most states deem that a BAC of .08 or higher is the legal threshold for being considered drunk. However, Pennsylvania takes it a step further. They have deemed that the higher your BAC is, then the more severe the penalty should be become.
The lowest penalty comes with a BAC that falls within the range of .08 to .099. A higher penalty comes with a BAC of .10 to .159. And the highest penalty will be attached to a person with a BAC of .16 or higher.
For anyone under the legal drinking age of 21 the BAC is .02 or zero tolerance. That means any amount of alcohol in the BAC of a minor is cause for an arrest.
Pennsylvania DUI Penalties
In Pennsylvania, a first time DUI offender faces six month probation and a $300 fine for the low BAC range. For the higher BAC, it can mean anywhere from two days to six months in jail plus a fine of $500 to $5,000 plus a twelve month license suspension.
At the higher BAC, the convicted driver is looking at at least three days to six months in jail with a $1,000 to $5,000 fine plus a twelve month license suspension. With the highest BAC an ignition interlock device might also be mandated to become installed in the car of the convicted.
A second DUI offense begins with five days up to six months in jail for the lowest BAC. Along with the jail time, the convicted driver also must pay a fine of $300 to $5,000 and have their license suspended for six months. At the higher level, the jail time goes up to the thirty days to six months with the fines and suspension amounts remaining the same.
For the highest BAC the jail time becomes ninety days to five years, with a $1,500 fine and eighteen months of license suspension. You will also be required to complete a state certified highway safety course.
A third DUI offense carries the most severe penalties at all three levels of BAC. At the low level BAC you’ll be looking at ten days up to two years in jail along with twelve months license suspension and a possible $5,000 fine. The higher level BAC conviction could mean anywhere from ninety days to five years in jail with a possible $10,000 fine and a license suspension of eighteen months.
Finally, the highest level of BAC can carry a one year minimum jail sentence with a $10,000 fine and eighteen months of license suspension. You will also be required to install an ignition lock device.