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Vermont Drunk Driving Laws

Vermont state police and local law enforcement take drunk driving very seriously. Even though drunk driving is a common criminal charge, it carries some of the harshest penalties. After learning about the penalties associated with a DUI, you can contact a local Vermont DUI defense attorney to help resolve your case.

Vermont Drunk Driving Laws

Per Vermont law, a person may be charged with driving under the influence (DUI) by operating a vehicle with a BAC of .08% or more or when the consumption of alcohol or drugs impairs the driver’s ability to the “slightest degree.” Commercial drivers cannot have a BAC of .04% or more, and drivers under 21 years of age cannot drive with a BAC of .02% or more.

However, Vermont may still charge a person with a DUI even if their BAC is under .08% if their driving was affected even to the “slightest degree” by consuming alcohol or another substance.

In some cases, a driver charged with a DUI in Vermont may have a defense to show that they had no intention of putting the vehicle in actual motion and that the vehicle had not been placed in motion while under the influence.

Implied ConsentYes

Enhanced Penalties: BAC of .16% or more; driving with a child in the car; prior convictions; causing serious bodily injury or death

The following are the types of penalties you can face in Vermont for drunken driving:

  • First offense: up to 2 years maximum imprisonment; $750 fine; 90-day license suspension; and an ignition interlock device (IID).
  • Second offense: up to 2 years imprisonment; $1,500 fine; 18-month license suspension; vehicle immobilization until license reinstatement; an IID; and community service.
  • Third offense: lifetime suspension of your license and up to 5 years imprisonment, of which at least 96 hours may have to be served consecutively. However, credit can be given for time spent in a residential chemical treatment facility if you successfully complete the program.

These penalties can increase with the number of convictions from what is listed above with new offenses or if aggravating circumstances exist at the time of the offense, including 5 to 10 years of imprisonment, a $2,500 to $5,000 fine, lifetime license suspension, and vehicle forfeiture as just an example.

The serious penalties and affect a DUI charge can have on your employment, finances, and ability to drive make it important to seek out an experienced criminal defense attorney in the Vermont area. A lawyer can help you understand all of your rights and potential consequences you could face at each stage of the process.

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