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Pennsylvania DUI Laws

One of the most common criminal charges in Pennsylvania (as in other states) is driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or other drugs, since both driving and social drinking are ubiquitous. But it's also one of the most strictly enforced criminal offenses, with penalties including prison time and fines in the thousands of dollars. A DUI conviction also affects one's auto insurance rates, eligibility for certain jobs, and other aspects of life beyond the courtroom.

If it is your first DUI offense, you will be put on probation for up to six months, pay a $300 fine, and be ordered to complete traffic safety school. But penalties get much more severe from there. For instance, you could be sentenced to as much as two years in prison if it is your third or successive offense. A conviction for a DUI with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.16 percent or higher, meanwhile, will get you at least three days -- and up to six months -- in prison if you have no prior offenses.

Learn more about Pennsylvania's DUI laws below.

Pennsylvania DUI Laws: Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Limits and Implied Consent

"Per Se" BAC Limit 0.08 Percent
Zero Tolerance (Underage) BAC Limit 0.02 Percent
Enhanced Penalty (Aggravated) BAC Limit 0.10 - 0.159 and 0.16+ (two tiers)
Implied Consent to Submit to BAC Test? Yes

Pennsylvania DUI Laws: Select Penalties

Minimum License Suspension or Revocation (1st, 2nd, 3rd offense) none, 1 year, 1 year
Mandatory Alcohol Education, Assessment and Treatment Assessment & Treatment
Vehicle Confiscation Possible? No
Ignition Interlock Device Possible? Yes

Note: State laws are always changing through legislative, judicial, or other means. While FindLaw works hard to ensure the accuracy of its legal resources, it's a good idea to thoroughly research the law or check with an attorney to make sure you have the most recent information. 

Pennsylvania DUI Resources

  • Pennsylvania DUI Statutes: Driving After Imbibing Alcohol or Utilizing Drugs (Pa. C.S. 3801-3817).
  • Explanation of Pennsylvania DUI Law - Overview of DUI laws in Pennsylvania (Penn. Driver and Vehicle Services).
  • Ignition Interlock FAQs - Answers to frequently asked questions about the state's IID program (PDF, Penn. Dept. of Transporation).
  • Ignition Interlock Fact Sheet - General information about Pennsylvania's ignition interlock program, including fees and hardship exemption rules (PDF, Penn. Dept. of Transporation).
  • DUI Courts - Map of DUI courts in Pennsylvania (Penn. Commission on Crime and Delinquency).
  • Driver License Compact Fact Sheet - Answers to frequently asked questions regarding the Driver License Compact (DLC), which encourages interstate cooperation with respect to licensure (Pennsylvania Dept. of Transportation).
  • Probationary License Fact Sheet - Information about eligibility and procurement of a probationary license in Pennsylvania, often a requirement for DUI offenders (Pennsylvania Dept. of Transportation).
  • DUI Law - Articles and resources to help you understand DUI law, defenses, how to work with a DUI attorney, court procedure, and more (FindLaw).

Have an Attorney Help With Your DUI Case

If you have been arrested, booked, and charged with a DUI in Pennsylvania, you should know that the prosecution has plenty of resources at its fingertips to get a conviction. You have the right to defend yourself in a court of law, of course, but things will go much smoother if you have an attorney by your side. Before entering into a legal contract, though, it may be in your best interests to meet with a Pennsylvania DUI attorney first.

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Help Me Find a Do-It-Yourself Solution

Can I Solve This on My Own or Do I Need an Attorney?

  • Complex DUI situations usually require a lawyer
  • DUI defense attorneys can challenge Breathalyzer/Intoxilyzer or blood test results
  • A lawyer can seek to reduce or eliminate DUI penalties
  • A lawyer can help get your license back

Get tailored advice and ask your legal questions. Many attorneys offer free consultations.


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