DUI and Your PA Driver’s License

Will I Lose My Driver’s License After a DUI Charge in Pennsylvania? 

The penalties and fines, court hearings, and legal repercussions of a DUI charge can be very stressful. When you add the possibility of a lengthy driver’s license suspension to the list, it is overwhelming.

How will you get to work? How will you get your kids to school? Life without a license makes even the most common, everyday tasks much more complicated, forcing you to rely on others or expensive Uber / Lyft rides.

Seek the help of an experienced Pittsburgh DUI attorney immediately if you were arrested for DUI.

An Arrest is Not a Conviction.

DUI charges are possible to fight and win in court.

There are many possible defenses to winning a DUI case, but even if the evidence is working against you, a DUI lawyer can try to get your charges reduced. Many options exist.

Attorney Justin J. Ketchel provides free case evaluations—call today to begin fighting for your future.


Call Ketchel Law: 412-456-1221 for a Free Consultation

For How Long Will My License Be Suspended after a DUI Charge in PA?

DUI penalties in Pennsylvania are arranged in a three-tier system that is based on the offender’s Blood Alcohol Content, or BAC.

The higher the BAC level, the harsher the punishment. In addition, the more DUIs you have on your record, the harsher the punishment. This applies not only to jail time and fines but also to the length of your possible license suspension.

Length of Time for License Suspension After DUI Arrest:

Lowest Level Tier: There is generally no license suspension for a first-offense DUI if the BAC level is between .08% to .99% (although other penalties can still be harsh). However, that is the only tier category where a license suspension does not apply.

Middle-Level Tier: If your BAC falls into the second tier, between .10% and .159%, you face a 12-month license suspension for a first offense and an 18-month license suspension for a second or subsequent offense.

Highest Level Tier: If you have a BAC level of .16% or above, you face a 12-month license suspension for a first offense and an 18-month license suspension for a second offense. A third offense or subsequent offense is a felony and could mean one to ten years in prison.

If you are a repeat DUI offender, Pennsylvania now requires those convicted of a second offense DUI or higher to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle before they can have their driving privileges restored. This can be very costly, but unfortunately, it is the only way to have your license reinstated.

If you refuse a breathalyzer or chemical testing, making it impossible to measure your BAC, you automatically receive a 12-month license suspension simply for your refusal. The license suspension will be in addition to any penalties you face if convicted of DUI.

Those drivers who hold a Commercial Driver’s License, or CDL, face a 12-month license suspension for a first offense, and an 18-month license suspension for a second or third offense. In some cases, it can result in your CDL being revoked forever.

These suspensions are lengthy and can have a serious impact on your day-to-day life. It is also likely to affect your job and your family as well.

An arrest is not a conviction.

At Ketchel Law, we offer free legal consultations to people charged with DUI. Call us today to find out how we can help defend your DUI.

If you have been arrested for DUI in Pennsylvania, the first step is to call a DUI Attorney for a free consultation.


Call Ketchel Law at 412-456-1221 for a free consultation.


The purpose of the ARD program in Pennsylvania is to help rehabilitate first-time DUI offenders and keep them from serving jail time and receiving a permanent mark on their criminal record.

A major benefit of the ARD program is that the license suspension time is decreased significantly.

ARD can also help keep your criminal DUI arrest off your public records, by allowing you to expunge your record upon successful completion of the program. Not everyone who applies is accepted, however.

Length of Time for DUI License Suspension under ARD Program:

  • Less than .10% BAC: no suspension of license;
  • .10% to .15% BAC: 30-day suspension;
  • .16% or higher BAC: 60-day license suspension.

If you are a first-time DUI offender, an experienced attorney can help you apply for acceptance into the ARD program.

How Do I Get My License Reinstated in Pennsylvania after a DUI Conviction?

If you were convicted of a DUI and had your license suspended, you are probably eager to get your license back. In order to reinstate your license, you must follow the specific instructions provided by the Pennsylvania DMV.

A restoration requirement letter is usually sent approximately 30 days before the suspension period is due to end. This letter will explain all the necessary steps to take to reinstate your license.

As of January 2018, Pennsylvania has increased the fees associated with a loss of license due to a DUI conviction. The fees depend on the number of DUI convictions you have on your record and are quite substantial. They are as follows:

  • First offense DUI: $500 reinstatement fee
  • Second offense DUI: $1,000 reinstatement fee
  • Third or subsequent offense DUI: $2,000 reinstatement fee

Read more about Restoring Your Driving Privilege from PennDOT, the Pennsylvania DMV.


Call Ketchel Law at 412-456-1221 for a free consultation.

How Can Ketchel Law Help?

At Ketchel Law, our greatest strength lies in critically analyzing and dissecting the details of your specific case. An experienced and aggressive DUI lawyer can help you to fight to retain your license or have your charges reduced or dismissed.

When a complete dismissal is not possible, we strive to negotiate an alternative to jail time (home detention, alternative housing, or work release) or have the charges reduced.

Our experience and knowledge, along with our strong persuasive skills, allow us to provide you with the best possible defense.

Call Ketchel Law at 412-456-1221 for a free legal consultation.

We take every case seriously and are committed to providing quality legal advice.

Learn More About DUI Laws in Pennsylvania: