3 DUI’s in a 5 year period = Habitual Offender and Loss of License for 5 years

To the surprise of many clients, even though the sentencing guidelines do not specify that an individual will lose his license for 5 years for a 3rd DUI, in certain circumstances that may be the result. Pursuant to the sentencing guidelines, conviction for a 3rd DUI, depending on the level of intoxication, would result in either a 12 month or 18 month suspension.

However, pursuant to 75 PA.C.S. 1542, an individual who is convicted of his/her 3rd DUI, within a 5 year period, is labeled a “habitual offender” and loses his/her license for 5 years. 1542(a)-(b), (d). Even if the individual received Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) for the first offense and the record was expunged, that is still counted as a conviction for purposes of Section 1542. 1542©.

If the individual commits an additional offense, within a period of five years, after serving the 5 year suspension, that individual will serve an additional 2 year suspension for each subsequent offense. 1542(e).

These are issues that one must be cognizant of before deciding to get behind the wheel after imbibing. With the Penndot 5 year revocation, Penndot will not even issue a work driver’s license; hence, the individual will have to rely on other forms of transportation, even to and from work.

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