Pennsylvania has varying levels for DUI charges. The main factor determining which level at which the prosecutor will charge is your blood alcohol level at the time of your arrest.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation explains the highest level is a BAC of .16% or higher. This level also includes being under the influence of any controlled substance, including prescription drugs, and anyone refusing a breath or chemical test. The potential penalties under the highest level of DUI charges depend on whether you have prior DUIs on your record.
The highest penalties under this level are if you have had two or more previous DUI convictions. The potential punishments you face include a suspension of your license for at least 18 months, an ignition interlock device for one year and a fine of $2,500 to $10,000. You may also have to undergo substance abuse treatment. The potential prison sentence for this first-degree misdemeanor is one to five years.
In the middle is if you have one previous conviction for a DUI. This level is also a first-degree misdemeanor with a potential for an 18-month license suspension, a fine of $1,500 to $10,000 and one-year ignition interlock. You may also need to attend a treatment program and alcohol highway safety school. The potential prison sentence ranges from 90 days to five years.
The lowest level penalties apply if you have no previous record. This is an ungraded misdemeanor with a 12-month license suspension. The fine ranges from $1,000 to $5,000 and the potential prison sentence is 72 hours to six months. You may also have to complete a treatment program and alcohol highway safety school.
While these penalties are just the basic legal consequences, you should keep in mind, a conviction for a DUI can also carry other personal and social consequences.