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The penalties of a first-time DUI charge

On Behalf of | Sep 1, 2017 | Drunk Driving Defense

There rightfully exist a number of penalties attached to drunk driving offenses, but sometimes, a mild offense simply occurs out of being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Pennsylvania, like most states, contains a set of laws and penalties regarding driving under the influence. Often these penalties can be lasting, and can negatively impact a person’s career and life in general.

According to an article in Penn Live, the state’s DUI “tiers” work to determine penalties based off of an individual’s level of intoxication while driving. As of 2003, Pennsylvania’s limit for a DUI was reduced from .10 to .08 blood alcohol content, but along with that change came the introduction of DUI tiers. These tiers apply to the level of intoxication of a driver, and that level ultimately determines the penalties given to the driver. The penalties determined can range from the loss of license to requirement for an Alternative Rehabilitation Disposition program. The first tier applies to those who have a BAC level of .08 to .10 percent within two hours of operating a vehicle. Offenders may face six months’ probation, a $300 fine and mandatory attendance at an alcohol safety school.


Minor DUI charges such as the aforementioned first tier offense happen to thousands of Pennsylvania drivers every day, and although drunk driving is highly dangerous, those with lower BAC levels often have complete control of their driving. However, the penalties still naturally exist in these cases, and the website Driving Under the Influence in Pennsylvania lists in further detail the varying types of DUI charges. According to DUI in PA, penalties for a first DUI offense also include the required use of an Interlock Ignition Device; these devices are particularly used in cases where a driver refuses to take a chemical test. Additional penalties that a first time DUI offender can face are 150 maximum hours of community service and higher insurance rates.