Getting your first DUI is a serious offense, but if you are unfortunate enough to be arrested for a second DUI, you could pay a heavy price, especially if that second charge comes within 10 years of the first one. The reason is that the court does not look favorably on any defendant who has already paid the fines and penalties for a first DUI, but is unable avoid a second DUI charge. So what happens if you are arrested on a second DUI offense in Pennsylvania? Will you lose your license? Is jail time a possibility? Let’s take a look at what you can expect with a second DUI offense.
What Are the Penalties For Second Offense DUI In Pennsylvania?
Pennsylvania has a 10-year ‘lookback period,’ which means that if you are arrested for a second DUI offense within 10 years of your first offense, the penalties and possible jail time are much harsher. However, if your second DUI offense occurred more than 10 years after your first, your case will be treated as a first-time DUI offense.
There is a three-tiered system in Pennsylvania that determines the fines and penalties for a second DUI offense based on your blood-alcohol content (BAC):
- BAC of .08 percent to .099 percent – Five days to six months in jail, a fine between $300 and $2,500, and driver’s license suspension for 12 months. After your license is reinstated on a restricted basis, you will also have to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in your car for 12 months. An IID requires you to take a breath test before the engine of your car will start. You will also need a Court Reporting Network (CRN) evaluation that screens you for drug and alcohol treatment, and mandatory attendance at a drug and alcohol (D&A) assessment and treatment center, and Alcohol Highway Safety School (AHSS).
- BAC of .10 percent to .159 percent – 30 days to six months in jail, a fine between $750 and $5,000, and driver’s license suspension for 12 months. After your license is reinstated on a restricted basis, you will have to install an IID in your car for 12 months. You will also need a CRN evaluation and must attend D&A sessions as well as AHSS.
- BAC of .16 percent or higher – 90 days to five years in jail, a fine between $1,500 and $10,000, and driver’s license suspension for 18 months. After your license is reinstated on a restricted basis, you will also have to install an IID in your car for 12 months. You will also need a CRN evaluation and must attend D&A sessions as well as AHSS.
One other important factor to remember is that if you refuse to take a chemical test when you are pulled over for a second DUI, your driver’s license is immediately suspended for 18 months, and you will be subject to the penalties and fines under the highest BAC tier, regardless of whether or not your actual BAC was lower than .16 percent.
Don’t Delay Getting Legal Help
A second offense DUI lawyer can help you when you’ve had a second offense DUI within 10 years with long-lasting consequences. So to protect all your rights, contact the Law Offices of Steven F. O’Meara at 610-565-9200 to learn how we can help with your DUI case.