Vermont DUI Laws
Vermont Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Laws
"The Green Mountain State" has tough laws against driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI). First, if your blood alcohol level, (BAC) is above a 0.08 percent or more while driving, you will be violation of the "per se" DUI laws. But that isn't the only way a person can be arrested for impaired driving in Vermont. You can also be arrested for driving under the influence in Vermont even if your BAC level is below the legal limit of .08 percent simply by displaying signs that are consistent with a person who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Being "under the influence " means you aren't able to operate your vehicle with the care and caution of a sober person.
Can I Refuse to Take a Chemical Test in Vermont?
When you passed your driving test and received your driver's license, you also agreed to provide a chemical sample should a police officer request one. This is a part of your agreement to safely follow Vermont's laws against drunk driving. It is also known as "implied consent," meaning you have given your consent to submit to a blood, breath, or urine sample in exchange for the privilege to drive. If you decide to refuse to give a sample, the state of Vermont can suspend or revoke your driver's license, impose hefty fines, or even put you in jail for not submitting to a BAC test when suspected of a DUI.
In some limited circumstances, you may be able to get the prosecutor to agree to plea bargain your case and reduce your crime from a DUI to a wet reckless charge. A wet reckless is another way of describing a reckless driving crime with alcohol involved. While it does not carry the same penalties as a DUI conviction, remember that a wet reckless is still considered as a prior DUI offense on your record if you are arrested for a DUI in the future. Simply put, if you are arrested again on a subsequent DUI charge, the wet reckless will be used to charge you with a second-time DUI.
Below you will find a chart outling Vermonts' DUI laws.
Vermont 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||n/a|
|Implied Consent to Submit to BAC Test?||Yes|
Vermont DUI Laws: Select Penalties
|Minimum License Suspension or Revocation (1st, 2nd, 3rd offense)||90 days / 18 months/ permanent|
|Mandatory Alcohol Education, Assessment and Treatment||Both|
|Vehicle Confiscation Possible?||Yes|
|Ignition Interlock Device Possible?||Yes|
Vermont DUI Resources:
- DUI Statutes: Operating under the influence (Ver. Stat. Ann. 23 1201).
- Project CRASH - Vermont's drunk driver rehabilitation program (Vermont Dept. of Public Health).
- Ignition Interlock FAQ [pdf] - Answers to frequently asked questions about ignition interlock usage in Vermont (Vermont Dept. of Motor Vehicles).
Charged with a DUI in Vermont? Get Legal Help
A DUI isn't the end of the world, but it certainly makes life more difficult. Your criminal record and driving record will be negatively impacted. If you want to learn more about your DUI charges, speak with a knowledgeable DUI attorney in Vermont who can review your case and give you personalized legal advice on your options going forward.