Pennsylvania DUI & Drunk Driving Laws | Charged? Our Lawyers Can Help
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Worgul, Sarna & Ness

CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEYS, LLC

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If you are charged with driving under the influence in Pennsylvania, you’re probably wondering what the penalties and consequences are. Pennsylvania has a three-tier system that divides punishment for DUI into three levels based on the percentage of blood alcohol content in a motorist’s system as well as their previous offenses.

Why The Police Stopped You

Police officers may have observed that you were driving erratically. They look for signs such as repeatedly swerving or weaving in and out of traffic lanes. Most often though, the police will wait for you to commit a simple traffic violation giving them cause to pull you over.

After The Stop

The police may look you over for signs of intoxication such as a flushed face, slurred speech, or breath that smells like alcohol. If they have cause to believe you have been drinking, they will probably ask you to take a field sobriety test. This is a test of your mental and physical capabilities to determine if you are intoxicated.

If, based on your field sobriety test, the police believe they have probable cause, you will be asked to take a breath, blood or urine test. Under Pennsylvania law, these tests must be administered no more than two hours after your arrest.

Pennsylvania DUI Laws & Its Three-Tier System

The legal limit in Pennsylvania is a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08. If breathalyzer, blood, or urine tests show your BAC at that level or higher, you can be charged with a DUI.

First tier (BAC of .08 to .099) with no prior offenses:

  • $300 fine
  • Up to six months of probation
  • Alcohol highway safety school
  • You may be required to take a court-ordered treatment program

First tier (BAC of .08 to .099), second offense:

  • Five days to six months in jail
  • $300 to $2,500 fine
  • One year license suspension
  • Ignition interlock on your vehicle for one year

First tier (BAC of .08 to .099), third offense:

  • 10 days to two years in jail
  • $500 to $5,000 fine
  • One year license suspension
  • Ignition interlock on your vehicle for one year
  • You may be required to take a court-ordered treatment program

Second tier (BAC of .10 to .159), first offense:

  • Two days to six months in jail
  • $500 to $5,000 in fines
  • One year license suspension
  • Alcohol highway safety school
  • Ignition interlock for one year
  • You may be required to take a court-ordered treatment program

Second tier (BAC of .10 to .159), second offense:

  • 30 days to six months in jail
  • $750 to $5,000 fine
  • One year license suspension
  • Alcohol highway safety school
  • Ignition interlock on your vehicle for one year
  • You may be required to take a court-ordered treatment program

Second tier (BAC of .10 to .159), third offense:

  • 90 days to five years in jail
  • $1,500 to $10,000 fine
  • 18 month license suspension
  • Ignition interlock on your vehicle for one year
  • You may be required to take a court-ordered treatment program

Third tier (BAC of .16 or more), first offense:

  • Three days to six months in jail
  • $1,000 to $5,000 fine
  • One year license suspension
  • Alcohol highway safety school
  • Ignition interlock for one year
  • You may be required to take a court-ordered treatment program

Third tier (BAC of .16 or more), second offense:

  • 90 days to five years in jail
  • $1,500 to $10,000 fine
  • 18 month license suspension
  • Alcohol highway safety school
  • Ignition interlock on your vehicle for one year
  • You may be required to take a court-ordered treatment program

Third tier (BAC of .16 or more), third offense:

  • One to five years in jail
  • $2,500 to $10,000 fine
  • 18 month license suspension
  • Ignition interlock on your vehicle for one year
  • You may be required to take a court-ordered treatment program

Pennsylvania law will take into account the last 10 years of your driving history to determine second, third, fourth, and subsequent DUI.

Questions? Contact me.

Your rights are at stake and you need the best defense to keep them. I will fight using the strongest defense available to get your DUI charge reduced or dismissed so you can move on with your life.

(412) 281-2146 or advice@pittsburghcriminalattorney.com

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