DUI Convictions in Pennsylvania
It is important for drivers to review DUI information in Pennsylvania, so they are aware of the serious consequences they can face if convicted of driving under the influence. Drunk driving information is provided to drivers who are issued a violation, and they must follow several steps with the PA Department of Transportation (PennDOT) to prove they are responsible drivers. DUI laws in PA are strict, and the sanctions a repeat offender must face can include license suspension or the installation of an ignition interlock device. There are additional DUI consequences that may be issued to drivers who commit the violation, including educational courses or added fines. When charged with DUI in Pennsylvania, the penalties issued depend on the severity of the violation and the driver's history. DUI penalties are harsh when a driver has been convicted in the past or was found with an extremely high Blood Alcohol Content (BAC). Download our free guide to read more about BACs. Drunk driving fines can also be extensive, costing convicted drivers substantial fees throughout the court process. Drivers should learn about DUI charges and the consequences of being convicted, so they know how important it is to avoid this major violation. To find out more about drunk driving charges and the penalties convicted drivers may face, review the following information.
Pennsylvania DUI Laws and Educational Courses
Drivers may wonder, “Is DUI a felony in Pennsylvania?” DUI offenses are labeled as misdemeanors, and the degree of misdemeanor a DUI conviction is considered by the court depends on the driver's Blood Alcohol Content, and whether he or she has past convictions. Drivers may also ask, “Is DUI a criminal offense?” A DUI violation is considered a criminal offense, and may go on a driver's record as a misdemeanor.
When perusing DUI information in PA, drivers will find that first or second convictions result in court orders to complete Alcohol Highway Safety School. Depending on the DUI laws in the county in which the violation was issued, a convicted driver may need to complete a specific number of hours through the educational program to avoid jail time or other more severe penalties. The educational course is a DUI consequence that is meant to teach a convicted driver about:
- How drug and alcohol consumption can inhibit safe driving skills.
- The DUI penalties and other legal consequences of driving under the influence.
- Avoiding the dangers of driving under the influence.
- Accepting responsibility for breaking DUI laws and committing to not repeating offenses.
Pennsylvania drunk driving information is reviewed extensively with students throughout the educational program. As a DUI penalty, Alcohol Highway Safety School attempts to decrease the number of repeat DUI offenders. Learn more about DUI-related education in PA by downloading our complimentary guide.
DUI Penalties in Pennsylvania
When DUI laws in Pennsylvania are broken, a driver may also face a license suspension. DUI consequences are less severe for drivers if they have undetermined or low Blood Alcohol Content levels (also referred to as General Impairment), and have only committed their first DUI offenses. In these cases, DUI charges may include probation, but not drivers license suspension. However, after being charged with DUI in PA once, a repeat offender will face license suspension for at least a year. DUI offenses that involved higher Blood Alcohol Content levels also result in longer drivers license suspension periods. These drunk driving charges are inconvenient for drivers who utilize their driving privileges daily and rely on their own independent modes of transportation. Additionally, to restore a drivers license after committing a Pennsylvania DUI violation and suffering a period of suspension, a driver must pay restoration fines to the DMV. Drivers should review DUI information and how the drivers license suspension period is calculated. To learn more about how DUI charges can result in drivers license suspension, download our informative guide.
Pennsylvania DUI Charges and Fines
Pennsylvania DUI charges may also result in expensive fines that drivers must pay to avoid additional consequences. PA DUI laws implement lower fines for first-time offenders and offenders who displayed General Impairment or an undetermined Blood Alcohol Content level. However, drunk driving fines are more substantial for repeat offenders or drivers who displayed higher Blood Alcohol Content levels. Severe DUI consequences, including jail time or probation, are also possible for drivers who have been convicted of violating DUI laws multiple times before, or who have displayed extremely high Blood Alcohol Content levels. After being charged with DUI in PA, a driver may also be ordered to complete alcohol or drug treatment. Treatment can be ordered for first-time offenders or drivers who only displayed General Impairment - if a judge rules it is needed.
After receiving Pennsylvania drunk driver charges, a driver may also be ordered to install ignition interlock devices on all of his or her registered vehicles for a period of time. When this penalty is ordered after a Pennsylvania DUI conviction, the driver is required to blow into the device before he or she can start the vehicle. DUI information is analyzed by the device, and if alcohol or drugs are detected in the driver's breath, the vehicle will not start. In addition to other applicable DUI charges and fines ordered by the court system, the driver is responsible for purchasing all ignition interlock systems for his or her vehicles when this penalty is ordered. Drivers who have been convicted of DUI in PA multiple times may be ordered to utilize ignition interlock devices for one year. To review more detailed PA drunk driving information, review our downloadable and comprehensive guide.