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Penalties of a DUI conviction in Pennsylvania

On Behalf of | Oct 14, 2022 | Criminal Defense

Did you know that drunk driving accidents are responsible for the death of 32 individuals every day? In 2020, drinking and driving deaths increased by 14% to 11,654 people.

Because of the dangers impaired driving presents, a DUI conviction typically has significant consequences. These are some of the penalties for a DUI conviction in Pennsylvania.

Penalty determinations

A Pennsylvania drunk driver may face penalties based on the amount the driver is over the legal limit, whether the driver has drugs in his or her system and the number of convictions within the last decade. Although the state has mandatory minimums for incarceration and fines, a judge can extend these penalties based on any injuries or deaths caused by the impairment.

Mandatory incarceration

Pennsylvania has mandatory minimum sentences for DUI convictions, and incarceration is one of them, except in first-offense, general impairment cases. A DUI offender is often required to spend a specified amount of time in jail, but the judge can increase this time based on the crime details.

However, in first-offense cases, a judge can also sentence the suspect to counseling and treatment programs in lieu of jail time. In addition, some offenders may receive house arrest, and their vehicles may require an ignition interlock for up to one year.

License suspension

In many cases, DUI convictions lead to license suspensions for one year or more. Only first-time general impairment convictions lead to the suspects retaining their driver’s licenses.


Every DUI conviction in Pennsylvania results in a fine of at least $300. Additional convictions or heightened impairment result in fines of up to $5,000.

To avoid these penalties, do not drink and drive. Anyone charged with a DUI who did not drink should gather evidence, including video and witness statements, to present in court.

Pennsylvania Drunk Driving Defense: Law, Tactics, and Procedure | by Patrick F. Lauer, Jr. | Revere Legal Publishers