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Pennsylvania Third Offense DUI Laws


If you already have two DUI convictions within 10 years, you already know that a Third Offense DUI in Pennsylvania is extremely serious. In addition to costly fines, dramatically increased jail time, the automatic loss of your driver’s license for at 12 months, you are looking at another Misdemeanor conviction on your permanent criminal record. But don’t lose hope. You can fight back.

Third Offense DUI Penalties

The specific consequences you face for a Third Offense DUI conviction will also be based on your Blood Alcohol Concentration (or BAC) – the amount of alcohol that was present in your bloodstream at the time of your arrest. The higher your BAC (i.e., the greater the percentage of you blood volume that was alcohol), the higher the penalties you will face. Science and experience tell us that the more of your blood that is alcohol, the more impaired you are as a driver; hence the penalties correspond to your BAC level. The theory is, you are a greater danger to the public the higher your BAC. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania defines three tiers of impairment based on your BAC:

Tier One– General Impairment
  • A.C. = .08 to .099%
  • No property damage or injury
  • Incapable of safe driving

Penalties—First Degree Misdemeanor—JURY TRIAL AVAILABLE

  • 10 days mandatory minimum and maximum sentence of up to 24 months prison
  • 12 months license suspension (Ignition Interlock eligible after 6 months)
  • Mandatory Ignition Interlock
  • Fines between $500 and $5000
  • $200 surcharge
  • $100 Substance Abuse Education and Demand Reduction Fund.
  • Drug & Alcohol Evaluation—Treatment when ordered
  • Alcohol safe driving program
  • ARD possible under limited circumstances
Tier Two—High Rate of Alcohol
  • BAC = .10 to 0.159%
  • If Underage BAC =.02 to 0.159%
  • With Accident BAC =.08 to .099%
  • School Bus Driver BAC = 0.02% to .159%
  • Commercial Vehicle BAC = .04 to 0.159%

Penalties— First Degree Misdemeanor—JURY TRIAL AVAILABLE

90 days mandatory minimum and maximum sentence of up to 60 months prison

  • 18 months license suspension (Ignition Interlock eligible after 6 months)
  • Mandatory Ignition Interlock
  • Fines between $1500 and $10,000
  • $200 surcharge
  • $100 Substance Abuse Education and Demand Reduction Fund.
  • Drug & Alcohol Evaluation—Treatment when ordered
  • Alcohol safe driving program
Tier Three—Highest Rate of Alcohol
  • BAC of .16% or higher
  • Refusal of chemical test
  • Controlled substance DUI

Penalties—First Degree Misdemeanor JURY TRIAL AVAILABLE

  • 1 year mandatory minimum and maximum sentence of up to 5 years prison
  • 18 months license suspension (Ignition Interlock eligible after 9 months)
  • Mandatory Ignition Interlock
  • Fines between $1500 and $10,000
  • $200 surcharge
  • $300 Substance Abuse Education and Demand Reduction Fund.
  • Drug & Alcohol Evaluation—Treatment when ordered
  • Alcohol safe driving program
Other Important Things You Should be Aware Of
  • If you refuse to submit to a chemical test, your level of offense will automatically fall under the Highest Impairment (3rd Tier) category and you will face the highest penalties regardless of your actual BAC.
  • Any DUI conviction goes on your permanent, publicly accessible criminal record. Future employers, landlords, lenders, and anyone with an interest in your past will be able to access it – including your automobile insurance carrier. Drivers convicted of DUI will see a marked increase in their car insurance rates, often resulting in placement in an assigned risk program or can be outright dropped by their insurance carrier altogether.
  • Effective August 2017, the court will require you to use an ignition interlock device on your car. This device, which starts your car after testing and clearing your breath of alcohol content, must be paid for out of your own pocket at a typical price of between $800 and $1,200.
  • If your case involves an accident, which causes injury or death, you may be liable for sentencing enhancements that result in additional penalties, as well as potentially exposing you to civil liability for damages to the other people involved in the accident.

If you’ve been accused of a third DUI offense, your life will change dramatically if you are convicted. That’s why it’s so important to hire an aggressive, experienced DUI attorney to protect your rights and your future.

Don’t give up without a fight. Contact Bompadre Law for your free case evaluation. We’ll discuss your case, your legal options, and help you make the right choices in defending your case, your rights, and your future.

CALL FOR A FREE CASE EVALUATION
(484) 505-0188