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Delaware DUI Laws

As in other states, Delaware law prohibits the operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, illicit drugs, or even legally prescribed medications. And while Delaware DUI law has a 0.08 percent blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) limit, the DMV points out that someone with a 0.05 percent BAC can still be arrested for a DUI if the officer can determine impairment from other evidence (such as reckless or sloppy driving). And because of Delaware's implied consent law, refusal to submit to a BAC test when stopped by an officer will result in a one-year license suspension. 

Review the following charts and links to learn more about Delaware DUI laws.

Delaware DUI Laws: Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Limits and Implied Consent

"Per Se" BAC Limit 0.08 Percent
Zero Tolerance (Underage) BAC Limit 0.02 Percent
Enhanced Penalty (Aggravated) BAC Limit 0.15 Percent
Implied Consent to Submit to BAC Test? Yes

Delaware DUI Laws: Select Penalties

Minimum License Suspension or Revocation (1st, 2nd, 3rd offense) 3 months, 1 year, 18 months
Mandatory Alcohol Education, Assessment and Treatment Both (all convictions)
Vehicle Confiscation Possible? No
Ignition Interlock Device Possible? Yes

Note: State laws are always changing through legislative, judicial, or other means. While FindLaw works hard to ensure the accuracy of its legal resources, it's a good idea to thoroughly research the law or check with an attorney to make sure you have the most recent information. 

Delaware Evaluation and Referral Program (DERP)

Those arrested on DUI charges are required to undergo an evaluation with the state, which costs $100 and takes at least an hour to complete. The DERP process consists of a written evaluation, social history survey, mental health screening, a one-on-one interview with a substance abuse counselor, and more. Information gleaned from this procedure will help the state determine the best course of administrative action, including alcohol education and treatment.

Delaware DUI Resources

  • Delaware DUI Statutes: Driving a Vehicle While Under the Influence (DE Code Title 21 section 4177).
  • Driving Under the Influence - Extensive information about Delaware's DUI laws (De. Drivers Services).
  • Ignition Interlock Device Program - Overview of Delaware's IID program (De. Drivers Services).
  • Driver's License Suspensions - Includes information on reinstating your license after a suspension (De. Drivers Services).
  • Administrative Hearing Request - Online form for requesting an administrative hearing with respect to a DUI conviction (De. DMV).
  • Delaware DMV Locations - Addresses and contact information for the DMV offices located throughout the state (De. DMV).
  • DUI Basics - Articles and resources to help you get a basic handle on DUI law, with information about the elements of a DUI offense and driving under the influence of drugs.

Need Help? Contact a Delaware DUI Lawyer Today

Even if you are not contesting charges of driving under the influence of alcohol or other impairing substances, there are a number of variables that could impact your fate. For instance, the officer may have used improper methods or the BAC device may not have been accurate. To learn more about your legal options, reach out to a Delaware DUI attorney today.

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