Drinking and driving may lead to a car accident and serious injuries. Even if you avoid an accident while driving under the influence, there are still significant potential consequences under Pennsylvania law. The state’s tiered approach to DUI charges means that repeated offenses usually lead to more severe penalties. However, you may face substantial fines and restrictions for your first DUI conviction as well.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation provides information on DUI laws, charges and penalties. Under the current statutes, if you drive with a BAC of 0.08% to 0.099%, you may earn a DUI conviction in the General Impairment category. This upgraded misdemeanor may lead to a $300 fine and up to six months of probation. You may also need to attend an alcohol highway safety course and participate in a treatment program if a judge orders you to.

If you get a DUI conviction with a higher BAC, you may face more severe penalties. If your BAC is within the range of 0.01% to 0.159%, it falls under the High BAC category of penalties. In this case, a first offense may lead to a 12-month suspension of your driver’s license. The minimum fine is $500, but you could end up paying up to $5,000. Likewise, you may spend 48 hours to six months in prison. A judge may also order you to attend a treatment program. If you have a BAC of 0.16% or higher, you may go to prison for at least 72 hours and pay a minimum fine of $1,000. A 12-month license suspension is standard for this conviction. While the state encourages treatment and education for first-time DUI offenders, you may also face significant penalties with a conviction.

This information about DUI penalties in Pennsylvania is intended for educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as legal advice.