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An Overview of DUI Laws in Pennsylvania

Are you wondering what the consequences of a DUI look like in the state of Pennsylvania? Below is a quick overview of the penalties you’ll likely face if convicted of driving under the influence:

  • First offense: No minimum jail requirement, a $300 fine and a required ignition interlock device (IID) if the offender refuses to take a chemical test
  • Second offense: Five days to six months in jail, a $300 to $2,500 fine, a 12-month license suspension and a mandatory IID if the offense was during a restricted license period
  • Third offense: Ten days to two years in jail, a $500 to $5,000 fine, a 12-month license suspension and a mandatory IID if the offense was during a restricted license period

The penalties an offending driver faces in Pennsylvania become more serious if any aggravating factors are present, such as an injury, a death or an elevated blood alcohol content.

Am I allowed to refuse a chemical test?

Pennsylvania operates under implied consent. Thus, if you refuse a chemical test, you will be fined and automatically have your driver license suspended for a year. A second or third chemical test refusal will result in an 18-month license suspension.

What is the legal limit in Pennsylvania?

While the legal blood alcohol limit for drivers 21 or older is .08 percent, it is only .02 percent for drivers under the age of 21 in Pennsylvania.

How many drinks does it take to reach the legal limit? The answer to this question depends on many factors, such as a person’s body weight and tolerance and the amount of time that elapsed between drinks. In general, it is better to avoid drinking and driving entirely rather than attempting to guess your legal limit.

For further guidance on Pennsylvania DUI laws, contact us at Matthew R. Zatko, Attorney at Law at 814-483-7075 or contact us online.