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Will you lose your license after a DUI in Pennsylvania?

On Behalf of | May 6, 2022 | Criminal Defense

Impaired driving in the state of Pennsylvania can bring steep consequences. In addition to the safety risks to yourself, passengers or other motorists, there are serious legal concerns.

Penalties for DUI include jail time or loss of a license. The severity of the penalties increases with multiple offenses or high BAC levels.

Zero tolerance approach to DUI

Pennsylvania takes a strong position against DUI. Probation, a fine and safety school are just a few of the penalties when there are no prior DUI offenses. However, repeat offenses and high BAC levels lead to the loss of a license. The law goes further and can require the installation of an ignition interlock system or jail time.

Progression of penalties

There is a tiered approach regarding DUI enforcement which incorporates the blood alcohol content level and prior offenses when assigning penalties. Additionally, underage drivers, those who operate school vehicles or buses and those who cause an accident with personal injury or property damage can receive higher BAC penalties regardless of their BAC level. The same goes for offenders who refuse impairment testing. These are the general impairment implications concerning the loss of a license:

  • First offense: no suspension
  • First offense with BAC .10% or higher: 12-month license suspension
  • Second or multiple offenses with BAC less than .10%: 12-month license suspension
  • Third offense with BAC .10% or higher: 18-month licenses suspension
  • First offense with a BAC .16% or higher: 12-month suspension
  • Second or third offenses with a BAC .16% or higher: 18-month suspension

The state supports driver rehabilitation, providing options for earning back driving privileges. The ignition interlock device is one of these options.