According to the Pennsylvania Department of Motor Vehicles website, the state recognizes three tiers of DUIs: General Impairment, High BAC and Highest BAC. The state reserves the Highest BAC penalties for those who have a blood alcohol concentration level of .16% or greater or those who refuse to submit to a chemical test.

If you are a first-time offender who had a BAC of .16% or greater at the time of arrest, you may receive an ungraded misdemeanor conviction. Such a conviction would result in a 12-month license suspension and between 72 hours and six months in prison. The court may fine you between $1,000 and $5,000. You may also have to take mandated alcohol highway safety courses and undergo treatment for alcohol abuse.

If you have a prior conviction on your record and the state charges you with a Highest DUI, you face first degree misdemeanor charges. A conviction of this nature would result in an 18-month license revocation period and between 90 days and five years in prison. You may also have to pay a fine of between $1,500 and $10,000, undergo court-ordered treatment and participate in an alcohol highway safety course. Before the DMV may reinstate your license, you must drive with an ignition interlock device for at least one year.

If you have two or more prior DUI offenses on your record, you face first degree misdemeanor charges for a Highest DUI charge. However, the penalties associated with a third offense are much stricter than those of a first or second offense and involve a mandatory one year in prison with the possibility of five and a fine of between $2,500 and $10,000. The courts will also suspend your license for a period of no less than 18 months and require you to drive with an IID for at least one year before you can appeal for license reinstatement. You may also have to undergo court-ordered alcohol treatment.

You should not use this article as legal advice. It is for educational purposes only.