Pennsylvania Third Offense DUI Laws

Third DUI in PA

If you already have two DUI convictions on your record, you already know that a Third Offense DUI in Pennsylvania is a very serious matter. In addition to severe fines, increased jail time, and the automatic loss of license for at least a year, you will receive a guaranteed misdemeanor conviction on your permanent, public criminal record. But hope is not lost. You can fight back.

Third Offense DUI Penalties

Like your first and second offense, the specific penalties you face for a Third Offense DUI conviction will be based on your Blood Alcohol Concentration (or BAC) – the amount of alcohol that was present in your bloodstream at the time of your arrest. The higher the BAC, the higher the penalties you will face.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania defines three tiers of impairment based on your BAC:

1. General Impairment

Criteria
  • B.A.C. between .08 and .099%
  • No property damage or injury
  • Incapable of safe driving
Penalties
  • Misdemeanor of the Second Degree
  • Prison sentence of 10 days to 2 years
  • License suspension for 12 months
  • Fines between $500 and $5,000
  • $200 surcharge
  • $100 Substance Abuse Education and Demand Reduction Fund.
  • Treatment when ordered
  • 1 year interlock

2. High Impairment

Criteria
  • BAC between .10 and 0.159%
  • General BAC with an accident or injury
  • School Bus Driver with BAC between 0.02% and .159%
  • Commercial Vehicle with BAC between .04 and 0.159%
  • Minor B.A.C.= .02 to .159%
Penalties
  • Misdemeanor of the First Degree
  • Prison sentence of 90 days to 5 years
  • License suspension for 18 months
  • Fines between $1,500 to $10,000
  • $200 surcharge
  • $100 Substance Abuse Education and Demand Reduction Fund.
  • Treatment when ordered
  • 1 year interlock

3. Highest Impairment

Criteria
  • BAC of .16% or higher
  • Refusal to take a chemical test
  • Controlled substance DUI
Penalties
  • Misdemeanor of the First Degree
  • Prison sentence of 1 year up to 5 years
  • License suspension of 18 months
  • Fines between $2,500 and $10,000
  • $200 surcharge
  • $300 Substance Abuse Education and Demand Reduction Fund.
  • Treatment when ordered
  • 1 year interlock

Other Important Things to Know

  • If you refused a roadside blood or breath test, you will be automatically charged under the Highest Impairment category, regardless of your BAC.
  • Any DUI conviction is noted on your permanent, public criminal record, meaning all future employers, landlords, and neighbors can look it up – including your insurance company. Drivers convicted of a third DUI are often dropped by their car insurance provider altogether.
  • With a Third Offense DUI conviction, the court may require you to use a ignition interlock device on your car. This device, which starts your car after testing and clearing your breath of alcohol content, must be paid for out of your own pocket at a typical price of $1,000.
  • If your DUI case involves an injury, accident, or death, you may be liable for sentencing enhancements that carry additional penalties from the State, as well as civil liability for damages from the other people involved.

Know Your Rights

As you can see, if you’ve been accused of a third DUI offense, your life will change dramatically if you are convicted. That’s why it’s so important to hire an aggressive, experienced DUI attorney to protect your rights and your future.

The McShane Firm, LLC - Law OfficesDon’t give up without a fight. Contact us for your free initial consultation. We’ll discuss your case, your legal options, and help you make the right choices in defending your case, your rights, and your future.