laws for drunk driving

Pennsylvania DUI Laws & Pennsylvania DUI Attorneys


In the state of Pennsylvania, you can be arrested for driving under the influence (Pennsylvania DUI), driving while impaired (DWI), or driving after imbibing (DAI). All three of these arrests result in similar consequences. Pennsylvania follows a three-tiered system for punishments for DUI arrests. The tiers are based on blood alcohol content (BAC). Those drivers with a BAC of .08 to .099% are in the first tier, followed by the .10 to .159% tier. The third tier is reserved for those with a BAC of .16% or higher. Pennsylvania also has a "per se" law that allows an officer to arrest anyone who has a measurable amount of illegal drugs in his system, and these drivers can be punished with third tier BAC punishments.

DUI Arrests in Pennsylvania

When you are arrested for DUI in Pennsylvania, you are automatically facing two cases, one in the courts and one in the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. The court case will establish your punishments, including a loss of driving privileges. The PennDOT case will also determine a separate driving privilege restriction. In order to protect your right to drive after a DUI arrest, it is important that you call a qualified Pennsylvania DUI attorney as soon as you can after the arrest. When you are arrested, you will be asked to submit to a BAC test. You have the right to refuse this test. However, if you do you will face stricter consequences for your crime.

Basic Consequences for First Time Offenders

The consequences you will face for your first Pennsylvania DUI arrest will depend on how high your BAC level was. First-tier offenders will face the following:

If you are in the second tier for your BAC, you will receive the first-tier punishments as well as the following:

Third-tier offenders will face:

Repeat offenders will face stricter fines and jail times, along with the potential to have an ignition interlock device placed on their cars.

License Suspensions for Pennsylvania DUI

Besides facing the above-mentioned punishments, a Pennsylvania DUI arrest also affects your driver's license. Your BAC does not affect the license suspension times, unless you are on your first offense and your BAC is under .10%. In this case you will not have a license suspension on your first arrest if there are no other circumstances surrounding the arrest. However, repeat offenders will face longer suspension times. License suspension times in Pennsylvania are as follows:

These license suspensions are long. However, with the help of a Pennsylvania DUI attorney, you can apply for a hardship license that will allow you to drive to and from work and your required educational classes after you have served two months of your suspension.

Insurance Consequences

The final thing that your Pennsylvania DUI arrest will affect is the cost of your insurance premiums. You will find that your auto insurance provider may drop you after your arrest. If you are not dropped from your current policy, the policy's premiums will increase significantly, making it difficult for you to stay insured.



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