Mandatory Sentencing Provisions

If you are found guilty of Driving Under the Influence and your BAC is above .10%, or if this is a second or subsequent offense, there is mandatory minimum jail time that is set by the Legislature. A mandatory sentence means that a judge has no discretion and is required by law to impose jail time, which can range from a minimum of 2 days in jail to a minimum of 1 year, depending on prior record. Intermediate punishment such as Work Release or House Arrest is determined by the sentencing judge.

There is a 10 year "look-back period" in which the District Attorney will review an individual's prior record to determine whether there were past convictions or ARD dispositions within the previous 10 years. The look-back period is calculated by determining the date of arrest on the new case and date of conviction (or ARD) for the prior case.


Pennsylvania Mandatory Minimum Sentences

Blood Alcohol  Level       

        

1st Offense

 2nd Offense

 (w/in 10 yrs)                   

 3rd Offense

 (w/in 10 yrs)

.08 - .099%

6 months probation

$300 fine

No license suspension

5 days – 6 months jail

$300 - $2,500 fine

1 year license suspension

10 days–2 years jail

$500 - $5,000 fine

1 year license suspension

.10 - .159%

2 days – 6 months jail

$500 - $5,000 fine

1 year license suspension

30 days – 6 months jail

$750 - $5,000 fine

1 year license suspension

90 days – 5 years jail

$1,500 - $10,000

fine

18 months license suspension

.16% +

or Drugs

or Refusal of testing

3 days – 6 months jail

$1,000 - $5,000 fine

1 year license suspension

90 days –  5 years jail

$1,500 - $10,000 fine

18 months license suspension

1 year  –  5 years jail

$2,500 - $10,000

fine

18 months license suspension



Multiple Offenders

If this is a second or third offense within the 10 year look-back period, the mandatory minimum prison sentence is dramatically increased ranging from 5 days in prison to 1 year. Depending on the county, house arrest, rather than incarceration, could be a possibility and is left to the sentencing judge's discretion. If house arrest is granted by the sentencing judge, the sentence is served in the individual's home rather than the county prison, and the individual is typically permitted to leave the home to work. 

Application for House Arrest should be done in advance of sentencing.

Additionally, the chances of House Arrest are increased if the individual immediately seeks intensive alcohol treatment such as inpatient or outpatient treatment and/or attends frequent Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings. If this is a second or third offense, the sentencing judge assumes that the individual has an alcohol problem. The best way to avoid jail and get house arrest is by immediately seeking alcohol counseling and abstain from the use of alcohol.