The state commonly regards drunk driving as a serious threat to public safety, and their penalties reflect this. The consequences of a drunk driving charge in Pennsylvania are severe, including fines and possible jail time. If the police arrest you for a DUI, make no mistake, you face a significant uphill battle.
What are the penalties for drunk driving?
Pennsylvania drunk driving penalties increase in severity depending on the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) and the number of previous DUI convictions. For a basic violation of the drunk driving law, which would be a BAC over .08 but below .10, you would see:
- First violation: $300 fine and up to 6 months of probation.
- Second violation: 12 months of license suspension, up to a $2500 fine, between five days and six months in jail and one year with an ignition interlock device.
- Third violation and beyond. Between 10 days and two years in prison, a fine between $500 and $5000, 12 months of a suspended license and one year with an ignition interlock device.
Each penalty may also come with a referral to an alcohol treatment program and alcohol highway safety school. For higher BAC levels, the penalties are a magnitude more severe.
It should be noted that the response to drunk driving in Pennsylvania has changed somewhat to focus on treatment for those with alcohol dependency problems. This shift, however, does not lessen the severity of a charge or the consequences of a conviction.
A charge is not a conviction
Drunk driving charges come with a lot of stress, and if you’re facing them, you may feel guilt about the situation. However, feeling guilt does not make you guilty in the eyes of the law. You have rights and deserve to take every opportunity to defend your rights and future.