16 BAC in PA

The highest rate of blood alcohol in the DUI law in PA is 0.16 percent BAC or higher. For government to convict someone of driving under the influence of alcohol at the highest rate, the State must show two elements. Elements are necessary parts of the crime. Without the necessary parts, there can be no conviction. Think of it like simple adding. 1+1=2. 1+0=1 ,0+1=1. If the government can’t add to two, then they cannot convict you.

In this case for a 16 BAC conviction, the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt

  1. the accused drove, operated or was in actual physical control of the motor vehicle and
  2. that the individual’s BAC reached 0.16 percent within two hours after driving.

0.16 percent BAC in Pennsylvania is double the legal limit. The legal limit in PA is 0.08 BAC.

Being arrest for a 16 BAC DUI in PA requires a lawyer

According to the government, for a male of average weight to reach 0.16 percent BAC they must have had seven “standard” drinks within an hour. For a female of average weight to reach .16 percent BAC, they must have consumed only five “standard” drinks within an hour. For a more information published by the government on approximate blood-alcohol percentages see the PennDOT alcohol impairment chart.

What sort of sentence can you get for 16 BAC and above?

0.16 percent BAC convictions also comes with increased penalties. For a conviction, just the first offense an individual convicted of driving under the influence at the highest rate will spend at least three days in prison. That’s the mandatory minimum for DUI first in PA. Moreover, the individual will pay a fine between $1,000-$5,000. One thousand dollars is the mandatory minimum fine for a highest rate BAC in PA. Furthermore, the convicted will have to pay for and attend highway safety school that is approved by the department. Lastly, the individual will have to comply with all drug and alcohol treatment requirements. For more information on penalties on the first DUI and subsequent offenses see the statute: 75 Pa.C.S.A. §  3804.

What’s the difference between BAC levels in PA?

The DUI statute differentiates between the “highest” level of alcohol impairment and a “high” level of alcohol impairment. What is a high BAC for DUI and how that differs from the highest rate of BAC is a matter of BAC percentages. A high BAC for a DUI is at least 0.10 percent but less than 0.16 percent. Now may be you are wondering how to find out your BAC after a DUI. However, it is not as easy as one may think. You are entitled to find out your BAC results before the preliminary hearing. Without an attorney, a person will most likely know their BAC at one of the first hearings. That puts you at a large disadvantage. With an attorney who knows DUI in PA, you may obtain your alleged BAC. Without an attorney, you will get the run around. Plus, the police officer can take a statement about anything you say or don’t say after the police officer tells you it. 

Recommended additional reading


Our Clients are entitled to a Bill of Rights which states:

  • Our clients have the right to expect, we will be proactive in communication. You will hear it from us first. We will return all phone calls, texts and emails promptly.
  • Our clients have the right to expect plain speaking, straight shooting. No B. S.
  • Our clients have the right to expect us to do it right the first time, every time.
  • Our clients have the right to expect us to be on time and professionally prepared for all court appearances, and all meetings.
  • Our clients have the right to expect that they will be fully informed at all times.

This is our promise to you. Call today to get us on your side: (717) 657-3900.

PA DUI attorney Justin J. McShane is the President/CEO of The McShane Firm, LLC - Pennsylvania's top criminal law and DUI law firm. He is the highest rated DUI attorney in PA as rated by Avvo.com. Justin McShane is a double Board certified attorney. He is the first and so far the only Pennsylvania attorney to achieve American Bar Association recognized board certification in DUI defense from the National College for DUI Defense, Inc. He is also a Board Certified Criminal Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, a Pennsylvania Supreme Court Approved Agency.