DUI-DWI Penalties

Attorney John W. Gibson defends clients charged with drunk driving (DUI). Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (or driving after imbibing – DAI) carries various penalties depending on the circumstances of your case.

We offer you an experienced, aggressive defense against DUI charges. For additional information about why you should engage a DUI defense attorney, please visit our Why You Should Retain a DUI Attorney page. Also visit our Firm Overview page for information about our qualifications and the quality of our service.

Drunk Driving (DUI-DAI) Penalties
In addition to the following penalties, your driving privileges may be suspended, your insurance rates may skyrocket, and you may have a criminal record.

DUI penalties are tied to your blood-alcohol content. There are three categories:

Category I – for a blood-alcohol level between .08 and .10 – the penalties are as follows:

For a first offense, to:
(i) undergo a period of probation not to exceed six months;
(ii) pay a fine of $300;
(iii) attend an alcohol highway safety school approved by the department; and
(iv) comply with all drug and alcohol treatment requirements imposed under sections 3814 (relating to drug and alcohol assessments) and 3815 (relating to mandatory sentencing).
(2) For a second offense, to:
(i) undergo imprisonment for not less than five days nor more than six months;
(ii) pay a fine of not less than $300 nor more than $2,500;
(iii) attend an alcohol highway safety school approved by the department; and
(iv) comply with all drug and alcohol treatment requirements imposed under sections 3814 and 3815.
(3) For a third or subsequent offense, to:
(i) undergo imprisonment of not less than ten days nor more than two years;
(ii) pay a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $5,000; and
(iii) comply with all drug and alcohol treatment requirements imposed under sections 3814 and 3815.
Category II – for a blood-alcohol level between .10 and .16 or a person in category one who was involved in an accident where someone was injured – the penalties are as follows:

1) For a first offense, to:
(i) undergo imprisonment of not less than 48 consecutive hours nor more than six months;
(ii) pay a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $5,000;
(iii) attend an alcohol highway safety school approved by the department; and
(iv) comply with all drug and alcohol treatment requirements imposed under sections 3814 and 3815.
(2) For a second offense, to:
(i) undergo imprisonment of not less than 30 days nor more than six months;
(ii) pay a fine of not less than $750 nor more than $5,000;
(iii) attend an alcohol highway safety school approved by the department; and
(iv) comply with all drug and alcohol treatment requirements imposed under sections 3814 and 3815.
(3) For a third offense, to:
(i) undergo imprisonment of not less than 90 days nor more than five years;
(ii) pay a fine of not less than $1,500 nor more than $10,000; and
(iii) comply with all drug and alcohol treatment requirements imposed under sections 3814 and 3815.
(4) For a fourth or subsequent offense, to:
(i) undergo imprisonment of not less than one year nor more than five years;
(ii) pay a fine of not less than $1,500 nor more than $10,000; and
(iii) comply with all drug and alcohol treatment requirements imposed under sections 3814 and 3815.
Category III – for a blood-alcohol level of .16 or higher – the penalties are as follows:

(1) For a first offense, to:
(i) undergo imprisonment of not less than 72 consecutive hours nor more than six months;
(ii) pay a fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $5,000;
(iii) attend an alcohol highway safety school approved by the department; and
(iv) comply with all drug and alcohol treatment requirements imposed under sections 3814 and 3815.
(2) For a second offense, to:
(i) undergo imprisonment of not less than 90 days nor more than five years;
(ii) pay a fine of not less than $1,500;
(iii) attend an alcohol highway safety school approved by the department; and
(iv) comply with all drug and alcohol treatment requirements imposed under sections 3814 and 3815.
(3) For a third or subsequent offense, to:
(i) undergo imprisonment of not less than one year nor more than five years;
(ii) pay a fine of not less than $2,500; and
(iii) comply with all drug and alcohol treatment requirements imposed under sections 3814 and 3815.
There are different rules for underage drinkers and drivers (minors) and CDL holders (commercial drivers license holders).

Underage Drinking and Driving

Underage drinking and driving is a serious charge. We have over 25 years of experience assisting clients. We also have a reputation for aggressively defending our clients’ rights and protecting their legal interests.

For additional information about our qualifications and high level of personalized attention, please visit our Firm Overview page. Also, we invite you to examine our Why You Should Retain a DUI Attorney page, for information on the benefits of retaining an experienced DUI lawyer, or contact us for a free phone consultation.

Why are people so adamant about teenage drinking and driving?
MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers), a group made of many mothers who lost children because of an alcohol related accident, puts forth the following statistics:

Researchers found that teenage deaths in fatal car crashes dropped considerably – in some cases up to 28% – when the drinking age was changed from 18 to 21.
Like it or not, it is clear that more young people were killed on the highways when the drinking age was 18. Back in 1982, when many of the states had minimum drinking ages of 18, 55% of all fatal crashes involving youth drivers involved alcohol. Since then, the alcohol-related traffic fatality rate has been cut in half!
Research estimates that from 1975-2002 more than 21,000 lives have been saved.

Teenage Drinking and Driving Laws (drinking and driving penalties)
1) For a first offense, to:

(i) undergo imprisonment of not less than 48 consecutive hours nor more than six months;
(ii) pay a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $5,000;
(iii) attend an alcohol highway safety school approved by the department; and
(iv) comply with all drug and alcohol treatment requirements imposed under sections 3814 and 3815.
The penalties become much more severe for repeat offenses. In addition, a conviction can result in a one-year license suspension. If you are a parent, you may also experience a substantial increase in your insurance rates.

DUI Defense for CDL Holders

As a commercial driver’s license (CDL) holder, your livelihood is at risk when your driving rights are challenged. In addition to more stringent penalties, you can face a lifetime suspension of your commercial driver’s license for two DUI convictions, even if they were while driving your personal vehicle.

Attorney John W. Gibson defends commercial driver’s license holders charged with DUI (driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol) or DAI (driving after imbibing) in Pennsylvania.

Please examine our Why You Should Retain a DUI Attorney page for some of the benefits of retaining an experienced DUI lawyer. For additional information about our qualifications and high level of personalized attention, please visit our Firm Overview page, or contact us for a free phone consultation to discuss your CDL and DUI matter.

DUI Laws for CDL Holders
(f) Commercial or school vehicles.—An individual may not drive, operate or be in actual physical control of the movement of a commercial vehicle, school bus or school vehicle in any of the following circumstances:

(1) After the individual has imbibed a sufficient amount of alcohol such that the alcohol concentration in the individual’s blood or breath is:
(i) 0.04% or greater within two hours after the individual has driven, operated or been in actual physical control of the movement of a commercial vehicle other than a school bus or a school vehicle.
(ii) 0.02% or greater within two hours after the individual has driven, operated or been in actual physical control of the movement of a school bus or a school vehicle.
(2) After the individual has imbibed a sufficient amount of alcohol such that the individual is rendered incapable of safely driving, operating or being in actual physical control of the movement of the vehicle.
(3) While the individual is under the influence of a controlled substance or combination of controlled substances, as defined in section 1603 (relating to definitions).
(4) While the individual is under the combined influence of alcohol and a controlled substance or combination of controlled substances, as defined in section 1603.

Penalties for CDL Holders Convicted of DUI
For a first offense, to:

(i) undergo imprisonment of not less than 48 consecutive hours nor more than six months;
(ii) pay a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $5,000;
(iii) attend an alcohol highway safety school approved by the department; and
(iv) comply with all drug and alcohol treatment requirements imposed under sections 3814 and 3815.
Accelerated Rehabilitative Dispositions (ARD) are treated as convictions for the purpose of imposing CDL sanctions.

Two DUI convictions will result in a lifetime disqualification, and DUI convictions after September 30, 2005 involving personal vehicles are counted.