Search
Search & Choose State
  • Location:

  • DUI & DWI in Pennsylvania

    In 2003, Pennsylvania took a major leap toward eradicating drunk driving through the passing of Act 24. In a nutshell, Act 24 made it easier for law enforcement to confront the drinking and driving problem by dropping the legal blood alcohol content limit for drivers down to 0.08%, and it introduced alcohol treatment into the penalty package.

    Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Defined

    The state operates behind a three-tiered definition for DUI based on a driver's BAC:

    • General impairment: 0.08% to 0.099%
    • High BAC: 0.10% to 0.159%
    • Highest BAC: 0.16% and up

    Penalties

    General Impairment

    1st offense:

    • You can face up to 6 months of probation.
    • Be hit with a $300 fine.
    • Attend mandatory alcohol highway safety school.
    • Be ordered to seek alcohol and drug treatment.

    2nd offense:

    • Have your license suspended for 1 year.
    • Spend 5 days to 6 months in jail.
    • Get slugged with a fine ranging from $300 to $2,500.
    • Attend mandatory alcohol highway safety school.
    • Be ordered to seek alcohol and drug treatment.
    • Get saddled with an ignition interlock system for 1 year.

    3rd offense:

    • You will be charged with a 2nd degree misdemeanor.
    • Have your license suspended for 1 year.
    • Get heaved into jail from 10 days to 2 years.
    • Face a fine ranging from $500 to $5,000.
    • Be ordered to seek alcohol and drug treatment.
    • Get saddled with an ignition interlock system for 1 year.

    High BAC

    1st offense:

    • License suspended for 1 year.
    • Face anywhere from 48 hours to 6 months in jail.
    • Get whacked with a fine ranging from $500 to $5,000.
    • Attend mandatory alcohol highway safety school.
    • Be ordered to seek alcohol and drug treatment.

    2nd offense:

    • Automatic driver's license suspension for 1 year.
    • Get pitched into jail for 30 days to 6 months.
    • Be fined anywhere from $750 to $5,000.
    • Attend mandatory alcohol highway safety school.
    • Be ordered to seek alcohol and drug treatment.
    • Get burdened with an ignition interlock system for 1 year.

    3rd offense:

    • You will be charged with a 1st degree misdemeanor.
    • Automatic license suspension of 18 months.
    • Get bounced into jail for 90 days to 5 years.
    • Fined anywhere from $1,500 to $10,000.
    • Be ordered to seek alcohol and drug treatment.
    • Get burdened with an ignition interlock system for 1 year.

    4th offense (and subsequent offenses):

    • You will be charged with a 1st degree misdemeanor.
    • Automatic suspension for 18 months.
    • Get bounced into jail for 1 to 5 years.
    • Fined anywhere from $1,500 to $10,000.
    • Be ordered to seek alcohol and drug treatment.
    • Get burdened with an ignition interlock system for 1 year.

    Highest BAC

    1st offense:

    • License suspended for 1 year.
    • Face anywhere from 72 hours to 6 months in jail.
    • Get jabbed with a fine ranging anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000.
    • Attend mandatory alcohol highway safety school.
    • Be ordered to seek alcohol and drug treatment.

    2nd offense:

    • Charged with a 1st degree misdemeanor.
    • Automatic suspension of 18 months.
    • Ordered to spend 90 days to 5 years behind bars.
    • Fined anywhere from $1,500 to $10,000.
    • Attend mandatory alcohol highway safety school.
    • Be ordered to seek alcohol and drug treatment.
    • Get stuck with an ignition interlock system for 1 year.

    3rd offense (and subsequent offenses):

    • Charged with a 1st degree misdemeanor.
    • Automatic suspension of 18 months.
    • Get bounced into jail for 1 to 5 years.
    • Fined anywhere from $2,500 to $10,000.
    • Be ordered to seek alcohol and drug treatment.
    • Get saddled with an ignition interlock system for 1 year.

    Other Long-term Consequences

    In addtion to court-ordered penalties, you will also get socked by higher car insurance rates that can dog you for the rest of your driving life. Your rates typically can triple, and in some cases your insurance carrier might drop you.

    More Information

    Chapter Four of the Driver's Manual provides detailed information about Pennsylvania's DUI laws, including the zero-tolerance law for minors, implied consent to BAC testing, driving impaired by medication, and the interstate Driver's License Compact.

    Compare SR-22 Insurance Rates in 3 Steps

    1. Enter Your Zip:

    Be a Hero
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 0

    heroes have registered as organ donors.