The Penalties for a Second DUI in Pennsylvania

Second Offense DUI Laws in PA

If you’ve been accused of DUI in Pennsylvania and you have a prior DUI conviction on your record within the last 10 years, you will be facing stiffer penalties, including mandatory jail time, license suspension, and thousands of dollars in fines. Let’s take a look at the laws and penalties for a Second Offense DUI in Pennsylvania.

The Look Back Period

Pennsylvania has a 10-year look back period for DUI offenses.  That means any convictions during this 10-year window will be counted.

Serious Offense

A second DUI is a very serious offense because it carries mandatory jail time and at least a 12 month license suspension. The loss of license can increase to 18 months under certain circumstances.  As you already guessed, your car insurance rates will increase significantly as well.  This is why it is highly recommended that you talk to a qualified DUI attorney immediately.  We can explain the charges to you and help you chart out a plan of action that helps you protect your future.

Second Offense DUI Penalties

The specific consequences you face for a Second Offense DUI conviction will be based on the exact details of your case.  If there were injuries to another party, you may face even higher penalties.

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

1. General Impairment


  • B.A.C. between .08 and .099%
  • No property damage or injury
  • Driver is at least 21 years of age
  • Refusal to take a chemical test


  • Between five days and six months prison sentence
  • License suspension for 12 months
  • Fines between $300 and $2,500

2. High Impairment


  • BAC between .10 and 0.159%
  • General BAC with an accident or injury
  • General BAC if driver is under 21 and over a 0.02%
  • In a School Vehicle with BAC between 0.02% and .159%
  • In a Commercial Vehicle with BAC between .04 and 0.159%


  • Prison time ranging from 30 days to six months
  • License suspension for 12 months
  • Fines between $750 and $5,000

3. Highest Impairment


  • BAC of .16% or higher
  • DUI Drugs


  • First degree misdemeanor conviction [You can no longer hold a License to Carry a Firearm and you cannot lawfully possess any handguns, rifles, shotguns]
  • Between 90 days and five years in prison
  • License suspension for 18 months
  • Fines of $1,500 to $10,000

Other Important Things to Know

  • Any DUI conviction is noted on your permanent, public criminal record. That means anyone can Google your name and likely find it or visit the AOPC website and find it.  Future employers will easily be able to see this in a routine background check. Your neighbors will too.
  • If you are convicted, you may be required you to use a ignition interlock device on your car. This must be paid for out of your own pocket at a typical price of $1,000 plus regular maintenance costs.
  • 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.
  • You insurance rates will increase significantly with a second DUI conviction.  Depending on your driving history, you may be denied coverage altogether.

If you have been charged with a second DUI offense in Pennsylvania, please call 1-866-MCSHANE now for a free, detailed consultation.  We know the law.  We know the science. We want to help you.

For Additional Free Information:

Justin McShane

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 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.

9 responses to “The Penalties for a Second DUI in Pennsylvania”

    • Also requested breathalyzer test on scene submitted breath officer ask for blood at the scene refused (refusal charge was ascended) office never asked for 2nd breath test did officer do something wrong?? In state of pa

  • Wesley D Scott says:

    I had a DUI in 1989 in clearfield pa . I live in NY and went to get my license back and I was told that pa flagged me for that DUI ,I called clearfield probation office and was to take an online class do to the fact that I live in NY. But didn’t.know BAC .and said to take the high test .my DUIs are 12. Years apart. Both DUls were the same no injury ,no property damage . nothing just a DUI .I’m not sure what class to take .any help would be appreciated

  • My first DUI was in Lancaster Pa my 2nd DUI is in Erie Pa it’s been four and a half years since my last DUI there where no crashes in either DUI and I was not hurt either what will happen to now?

  • If one has these charges Grade Description
    M3 Drg Lic Sus/Rev Purs to Sec 3802/1547B1-3rd or Subs. Violation
    Already has no rights to have a license is on probation as well will they get jail time with no exceptions?
    No right for house arrest due to also and bad criminal record ..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *