3rd DUI Offense in Pennsylvania

third-dui-in-pennIf you are facing a 3rd DUI violation in Pennsylvania, you need to retain the services of a highly qualified criminal defense lawyer immediately. Your future depends on the comprehensive preparation of a solid defense by an attorney specifically trained and experienced in handling driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol charges.

The Commonwealth uses a tiered system of sentencing guidelines for DUI violations. Sentencing will be harshest for violators in the 3rd tier of blood alcohol concentration, or BAC, who also have 3 or more prior drunk driving convictions. The following chart summarizes 3rd DUI penalties upon conviction:

Penalties for 3rd + DUI Offenses in PA

Prior DUI/BAC TierJail TimeLicense SuspensionFineProgramInterlock (IID)
3rd +DUI/.08 to .09910 days to 2 years1 year$500 – $5,000Treatment Program*1 year
3rd +DUI/.10 to .15990 days to 5 years1.5 years$1,500 – $10,000Treatment Program*1 year
3rd +DUI/.16 or higher1 year to 5 years1.5 years$2,500 – $10,000Treatment Program*1 year

What Counts as Priors

Pennsylvania courts will count all prior convictions for DUI in the Commonwealth toward the number of prior DUIs considered during the sentencing phase. A conviction is any charge to which you plead guilty, or for which you were found guilty by a judge or jury.

In addition, any conviction for a similar DUI offense as stated under PA crimes code that occurred in another state will also count as a prior DUI. Out-of-state DUI convictions can be a complicated legal issue requiring your attorney’s expertise. There is precedent to disqualify convictions in certain states from relating to PA DUI laws.

Note also that if you entered into or completed an ARD for DUI within 10 years of the current violation, this will also count as a prior DUI in Pennsylvania, even though there was no conviction.

Ignition Interlock Information

Those facing a third DUI will also be facing installation of an ignition interlock device, or IID, on their vehicle/s for a period of one year before unrestricted driving privileges will be restored. If convicted for a 3rd or 4th DUI, you will be required to have the device installed on all vehicles you own and operate, and pay all costs associated with the IID installation. Most approved vendors charge around $1,200 for a 12 month lease of an IID.

The IID is basically a breathalyzer connected to a communications network. The vehicle will not start until you blow into the device and your breath sample registers that no alcohol is in your blood. The device will also prompt for testing during operation of the vehicle at random times. Your IID limited license will begin after you have completed 12 months of your driver’s license suspension. PennDOT has more information here.

Take steps now to avoid the severe consequences of a 3rd DUI conviction. Find out what you can do to help your attorney fight the DUI charges, and then call us at: 412-690-0225 or 814-419-6440. We are highly qualified criminal defense attorneys with the specialized training, skills and legal knowledge necessary to protect your freedom and your future.

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