Like others in Pennsylvania, you may know that the state takes a tiered approach to driving under the influence charges. What you may not understand, however, is how that affects you if you are arrested for drunk driving in the state. At Worth, Magee & Fisher, P.C., we have helped numerous people who have been charged with DUI understand the offense levels, as well as the penalties they may face if convicted.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Motor Vehicles, you may be charged with a general impairment DUI if you are found in control of a vehicle and have a blood alcohol concentration, or BAC, level of between .08 and 0.099%. If convicted of this offense with no prior alcohol-related arrests on your record, you may face penalties including up to six months of probation, a $300 fine and compulsory participation in alcohol highway safety school. Depending on the circumstances, the court may also see fit to order you to undergo alcohol treatment.

If your BAC level is between 0.10 and 0.159% at the time of your arrest, you may be charged with a high BAC DUI. For a first-time conviction, this offense carries penalties including a sentence of between 48-hours and six months in prison, a fine of between $500 and $5,000, a 12-month suspension of your driving privileges, participation in alcohol highway safety school and completion of alcohol treatment, when ordered.

You may be charged under the most serious tier, the highest BAC DUI, if you were found with a BAC level of 0.16% or higher. Should you plead guilty or be convicted of this offense, the penalties you may face include between 72-hours and six months in prison, a fine of between $1,000 and $5,000, a 12-month suspension of your driver’s license, mandatory completion of alcohol highway safety school and participation in an alcohol treatment program.

Driving under the influence is considered a serious offense in the state of Pennsylvania, and thus, is prosecuted and punished harshly. For more information on alcohol-related offenses, please visit our website.