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What are the penalties for a first-time DUI?

Many holiday traditions involve gathering with loved ones — though perhaps on a smaller scale this year — and having a few drinks. Then, on your way home, you see flashing lights in your rear-view mirror. Before you know it, your blood alcohol registers as .08 and you are facing drunk driving charges.

What kind of consequences will you face with a first-time DUI conviction?

Pennsylvania DUI penalties

In Pennsylvania, for a first-time DUI conviction, you face the following penalties:

  • A $300 fine
  • Up to six months of probation
  • Mandated alcohol safety school
  • Possible mandated alcohol treatment

If you face DUI charges after a first conviction, you face harsher penalties if you receive a second drunk driving conviction. These include the following:

  • A $300-$2,500 fine
  • A five-day to six-month jail sentence
  • A 12-month driver’s license suspension
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle
  • Mandated alcohol safety school
  • Possible mandated alcohol treatment

Underage DUI charges

If you are under the age of 21 and police stop you for drunk driving in Pennsylvania, you can face DUI charges if you have a .02 blood alcohol level – the equivalent of having only one drink. The penalties for underage drinking and driving are harsh:

  • A fine of $500-$5,000
  • A 48-hour to six-month jail sentence
  • 12- to 18-month driver’s license suspension

When facing DUI charges

Anytime, you face DUI charges, you should consult with a criminal defense attorney. An attorney with experience defending against DUI convictions may be able to get the charges against you reduced or dismissed, allowing you to avoid having a DUI on your record.