A DUI conviction in Pennsylvania can subject a person to a variety of very serious criminal and civil penalties and fines. Most significantly, a person convicted of DUI may face a mandatory minimum jail sentence from which no judge can depart, regardless of the specific facts in each case. Most of these mandatory minimum sentences include jail time.
The exact amount of jail time a person may receive for a DUI conviction is established by statute, and depends on a variety of factors. However, two key factors are of paramount importance:
- The number of prior DUI convictions within 10 years of the present violation. The penalties for a first DUI offense will be substantially less than those for a second or third offense.
- The amount of alcohol in your system at the time the blood or breath sample is taken for testing. Under PA DUI law, the higher the amount of alcohol in your system, the stiffer the penalty – which will be a big factor in fighting for your rights. There are also separate penalties for driving under the influence of controlled substances and refusing to submit to chemical testing once arrested.
Given all this, how much jail time does a DUI in PA carry?
Tier 1: Driving Under the Influence – General Impairment (alcohol concentration of 0.08 to 0.099%):
- First Offense: Minimum of six months probation
- Second Offense: Minimum of five days in jail
- Third Offense: Minimum of ten days in jail
- Fourth and Subsequent Offenses: Mandatory ten days in jail with a maximum sentence of up to seven years
Tier 2: High Rate of Alcohol (alcohol concentration of 0.10 to 0.159%):
- First Offense: Minimum of 48 hours in jail
- Second offense: Minimum of thirty days in jail
- Third Offense: Minimum of ninety days in jail
- Subsequent Offenses: Minimum of one year in jail with a maximum sentence of up to two years in state prison
Tier 3: Highest Rate of Alcohol (alcohol concentration higher than 0.16%):
- First Offense: Minimum of 72 hours in jail
- Second offense: Minimum of ninety days in jail
- Third and Subsequent Offenses: Minimum of one year in jail with a maximum sentence of up to seven years
Tier 3: All DUIs involving controlled substances will be treated as Tier 3 Offenses.
Most DUI convictions also require the installation of an Interlock breath testing device that is placed in the vehicle at the defendant’s expense and will only allow a car to start if the defendant gives a breath sample that is alcohol-free.
If you believe that you are under investigation, have been subpoenaed before a grand jury or arrested and charged with a crime, contact Neff & Sedacca, PC for a confidential consultation by phone at (215) 563-9800 or email at info@NeffSedacca.com.