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Is a Third-Offense DUI in Pennsylvania a Felony?

empty beer bottle and car key behind bars, don't drink and drive concept

A third-offense conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) in Pennsylvania is still considered a misdemeanor. However, depending on the factors involved in the offense, it could be classified as either a first-degree or a second-degree misdemeanor.

The jail time and other penalties you face for a third-time DUI offense depend mostly on your blood alcohol content (BAC) level at the time of your arrest. Pennsylvania’s three-tiered system for third-offense penalties is as follows:

  • Tier 1: A BAC of less than .10 percent. This offense is punishable by jail time ranging from 10 days to two years and a fine of between $500 and $5,000. A tier one offense is a second-degree misdemeanor.
  • Tier 2: A BAC of between .10 percent and 0.16 percent. This offense is punishable by a jail sentence of between 90 days and five years and a fine of between $1,500 and $10,000. A tier two offense is a first-degree misdemeanor.
  • Tier 3: A BAC of more than .16 percent. This offense is punishable by a jail sentence of between one and five years, with fines ranging from $2,500 to $10,000. A tier three offense is a first-degree misdemeanor. 

For an offense in any of the above tiers, a judge may also order you to serve up to 150 hours of community service. If necessary, you may be required to receive treatment and take an alcohol assessment.

In addition, you could be subject to administrative penalties. A tier one offense calls for a 12-month license suspension, while a tier two or three offense comes with an 18-month license suspension.

To learn more about the penalties associated with DUI offenses in Pennsylvania, contact a skilled Ambridge criminal defense lawyer with Bowers & Fawcett, LLC.

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