DUI & DWI in Vermont
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Since 1998, Vermont has shown a 54% decline in alcohol-related driving accidents―the best improvement rate in the nation. A stringent clampdown on offenders deserves much of the credit for Vermont's success.
The state classifies any driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher to be driving while intoxicated (DWI). It's an offense with immediate repercussions, resulting in either the suspension or revocation of your license. Unlike speeding tickets, there is no chance to sweet-talk your way into being let off with a warning.
Refusing a BAC test provides no hope for a loophole, either. Refusing a test of your blood alcohol will prompt an immediate six-month suspension, whether or not you are later convicted of a DWI.
If you are arrested for a DWI, you will enter the justice system and will be required to appear in court in front of a judge. You should consider consulting an attorney who specializes in these types of cases. In the face of the below penalties, you might want all the help you can get.
You can be charged up to $750 and heaved into jail for as long as two years. In addition, your license will be immediately suspended for six months and can only be reinstated after you enroll in an alcohol and drug rehabilitation program.
The judge can sentence you to up to two years in jail and fine you no more than $1,500. You will also be required to perform 200 hours of community service, and your license will be suspended for 18 months. There will be no hope of early reinstatement, regardless of whether you complete the mandatory alcohol and drug rehabilitation program
Your license will be immediately revoked for life. In addition, you will be charged up to $2,500, spend up to five years in prison, and be required to perform 400 hours of community service.
DUI Accident Resulting in Injury
A judge can fine you up to $5,000 and sentence you to a 15-year prison term.
DUI Accident Resulting in Death
You could face up to 15 years in jail and possibly be charged with manslaughter charges. In addition, you could encounter a fine as high as $10,000.
If you're a first-time offender, your license will be suspended for six months and you will be required to complete a drug and alcohol education program. Get nabbed a second time and your license will be suspended for one year or until you turn 21 (whichever is longer), and you must again enroll in a drug and alcohol education program.
Another penalty comes down in the ugly form of higher insurance rates. Each company maintains its own policy on this, but you can be assured that a DWI conviction, regardless of how many alcohol education programs you attend, will stain your driving record and spike your rates. If it's important to you to fight a DWI charge in court, your best bet is to consult with an attorney.
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