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DUI Penalties Chart

Act 24, which lowered Pennsylvania’s legal limit of alcohol from .10 to .08, was signed into law on September 30, 2003. The new Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Law creates a tiered approach toward DUI enforcement and treatment, and includes many changes to the penalties, terms of suspension, fines and other requirements. The combination of an individual’s Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level, and prior offenses, determines the licensing requirements and penalties. The new law focuses on treatment for first-time DUI offenders, rather than strictly punishment and suspension.
There are now three levels of DUI:

  1. General Impairment (.08 to .099%)
  2. High BAC (.10 to .159%)
  3. Highest BAC (.16% and higher)

General Impairment penalties (Undetermined BAC, .08 to .099% BAC)

No Prior DUI offenses
  • ungraded misdemeanor
  • 12 months license suspension
  • 48 hours to 6 months prison
  • $500 to $5,000 fine
  • alcohol highway safety school
  • treatment when ordered
1 prior DUI offense
  • ungraded misdemeanor
  • 12 months suspension
  • 30 days to 6 months prison
  • $750 to $5,000 fine
  • alcohol highway safety school
  • treatment when ordered
  • 1 year ignition interlock
2 or more prior DUI offenses
  • 1st degree misdemeanor
  • 18 months license suspension
  • 90 days to 5 years prison
  • $1,500 to $10,000 fine
  • treatment when ordered
  • 1 year ignition interlock
3 or more prior DUI offenses
  • 1st degree misdemeanor
  • 18 months license suspension
  • 1 to 5 years prison
  • $1,500 to $10,000 fine
  • treatment when ordered
  • 1 year ignition interlock

Highest BAC penalties (.16% and higher) or Controlled Substance

No prior DUI offenses
  • ungraded misdemeanor
  • 12 months license suspension
  • 72 hours to 6 months prison
  • $1,000 to $5,000 fine
  • alcohol highway safety school
  • treatment when ordered
1 prior DUI offense
  • 1st degree misdemeanor
  • 18 months license suspension
  • 90 days to 5 years prison
  • $1,500 to $10,00 fine
  • alcohol highway safety school
  • treatment when ordered
  • 1 year ignition interlock
2 or more prior DUI offenses
  • 1st degree misdemeanor
  • 18 months license suspension
  • 1 to 5 years prison
  • $2,500 to $10,000
  • treatment when ordered
  • 1 year ignition interlock

Drivers under the influence of controlled substances and those who refuse chemical testing are subject to the highest BAC category penalties.

Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Levels
The Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level for per se DUI is lowered to .08%.
-Effective September 30, 2003

Penalties for DUI will be based on BAC and prior offenses.
-Effective February 1, 2004

Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD)
Requires courts to impose suspensions for BAC ARDs based on the following BAC ranges:

  • Less than .10% – no suspension,
  • .10% to less than .16 – 30 day suspension, or
  • .16% and above – 60 day suspension

-Effective February 1, 2004

By Kevin Leckerman

Attorney Kevin Lekerman
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