What Are Pennsylvania’s Underage DUI Laws and Penalties?

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pennsylvania's dui laws penalties underage

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania subjects drivers under the age of 21 to a lower blood alcohol limit than older drivers. In addition, an underage DUI also carries different penalties than a standard DUI conviction. For an underage driver to sustain a conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol, they need only have a blood alcohol content of at least 0.02 percent, whereas a standard DUI requires a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or more. For more information on Pennsylvania’s underage DUI laws and penalties, please continue reading, then contact an experienced Pittsburgh under 21 DUI lawyer today.

What penalties do Pennsylvania’s underage DUI laws impose for conviction?

In Pennsylvania, an underage DUI is a misdemeanor. Depending on the number of prior offenses the offender has within the last ten years, the specific penalties will vary. Other factors such as a particularly high blood alcohol content, alcohol test refusal and drug use can all increase the possible penalties, which include the following:

  • Jail time: A convicted driver faces up to six months in jail, which can increase to up to five years for a third offense. Prior to release on probation, the offender must serve at least forty-eight hours for a first offense, thirty days for a second offense and ninety days for a third offense.
  • Fines: For a first underage DUI offense, the court will order a fine of  $500 to $5,000. A second offense carries a fine of $750 to $5,000 and a third offense will result in between $500 and $10,000 in fines.
  • License suspension: The Department of Transportation (DOT) receives notice of all underage DUI convictions. The DOT will suspend the driver’s license for twelve months for first and second offenses. A third offense results in an eighteen-month suspension. The driver must install and maintain an ignition interlocking device (IID) for one year prior to full license reinstatement. After serving half of the suspension period, the driver can choose to install the IID to regain limited driving privileges for the remainder of the suspension.
  • Treatment: The offender must complete a drug and alcohol evaluation prior to sentencing. The judge will review the results and then decide whether to order treatment, up to 150 hours of community service and attendance at a DUI victim impact panel. All first and second offenders must complete an alcohol highway safety school program.

If you have any further questions regarding underage DUI laws and penalties in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, please do not hesitate to speak with a skilled Allegheny County DUI lawyer as soon as possible.

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If you are facing a DUI charge, contact The Law Offices of George Heym to schedule your free initial consultation.

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