Get the facts about Pennsylvania DUI penalties

Whether you are a student, an alum or an ardent local fan, Penn State football season is an exciting time of year. Before you let the festivities carry you away, however, make sure you are aware of the penalties for drinking and driving in Pennsylvania.

State DUI fines and consequences depend on your tested blood alcohol content at the time of the arrest. The more significant your impairment, the more severe your potential penalties.

General impairment

A tested BAC of 0.08% to 0.09% carries a fine of up to $300 and up to six months probation for your first offense, with the option of court-ordered driving safety school and alcohol rehabilitation. For a second offense, drivers receive up to six months in jail and fines of up to $2,500. You will face a one-year license suspension and must install an ignition interlock device at your own expense when you regain your license. Subsequent convictions result in up to two years in jail and fines of up to $5,000.

High impairment

The state categorizes a BAC of 0.10% to 0.159% as high impairment, with up to six months in prison, fines of up to $5,000 and a one-year license suspension for your first offense. Subsequent convictions carry up to five years in prison, fines of up to $10,000 and an 18-month license suspension with a mandated ignition interlock device.

BAC above 0.16%

You could receive six months in prison, fines of up to $10,000 and a six-month license suspension if your BAC exceeds 0.16% at the time of arrest. You will also face these elevated penalties if you refuse a breath test or are driving under the influence of another controlled substance.

Avoid a Pennsylvania DUI charge by traveling smart when you head to the game this year. Get a sober friend to drive or call an Uber so you can get home safely and prevent a serious accident.