Menu

DUI & DWI in Vermont

Arrested for a DUI or DWI?

Get a Free Court Case Consultation from a Local Vermont DUI Attorney:

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. Commercial driver's can be charged with a DWI if they have a BAC of 0.04% or over. For school bus driver's a BAC of 0.02% or over will get you charged with a DWI as will anyone under 21 years old with a BAC of 0.02% or more.

Refusing a BAC test provides no hope for a loophole, either. Refusing a test of your blood alcohol will prompt an immediate Administrative action by the Department of Motor Vehicles, whether or not you are later convicted of a DWI.

All DWIs and refusals to take a BAC or chemical test, carry not just criminal charges, but also civil actions that cause an immediate suspension of your license by the Department of Motor Vehicles. This includes being required to have an Ignition Interlocking Device (IID) on your vehicle if you want a restricted driver's license.

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.


Administrative Hearings

One of the issues you will face if you fail or refuse a chemical test is civil penalties by the Department of Motor vehicles. These penalties are in addition to any criminal penalties. Often, in the case of driver's license suspension, the penalties can run concurrently.

When you fail or refuse a chemical test the law enforcement office you provide you with a notice. This notice may contain: a request for a chemical test, a notice of intent to suspend and information on how to apply for an Administrative Hearing if you wish to contest the suspension. If you opt for a hearing you must request one within 7 days of receiving a notice from law enforcement.

If this is your first notice of intent to suspend then the notice will contain information on when the suspension will take affect. If it is a second or subsequent notice then your suspension will begin on the 11th day after you received the notice.

Penalties

Being charged with a DUI, or failing or refusing a chemical test, will cause severe penalties. How severe will be determined on any previous charges, your age and the level of your BAC.

First DWI Offense

Administrative Penalties

  • Driver's license suspension: 90 days (30 days with an IID)
  • Driver's license reinstatement fee: $82.
    • Written test fee: $32
    • Driving exam fee: $19
  • Restricted driver's license fee: $125 (if you have a EDL the fee is $150)
  • Alcohol Assessment screening fee; $200
  • Alcohol and Driving Education Program and program fee of $250
  • Mandatory Financial Responsibility Insurance

Criminal Penalties

  • Fine maximum: $750
  • Imprisonment maximum: 2 years
  • Driver's license suspension (may run concurrently with Administrative suspension)

Second DWI Offense

Administrative Penalties

  • Driver's license suspension: 18 months (90 days with an IID)
  • Driver's license reinstatement fee: $82.
    • Written test fee: $32
    • Driving exam fee: $19
  • Restricted driver's license fee: $125 (if you have a EDL the fee is $150)
  • Alcohol Assessment screening fee; $200
  • Alcohol and Driving Education Program and program fee of $250
  • Mandatory Financial Responsibility Insurance

Criminal Penalties

  • Fine maximum: $1,500.
  • Imprisonment maximum: 2 years
  • Community service: 200 hours or 60 hours of imprisonment.
  • Driver's license suspension (may run concurrently with Administrative suspension)

Third DWI Offense

Administrative Penalties

  • Driver's license suspension: 3 years (1 year with an IID)
  • Driver's license reinstatement fee: $82.
    • Written test fee: $32
    • Driving exam fee: $19
  • Restricted driver's license fee: $125 (if you have a EDL the fee is $150)
  • Alcohol Assessment screening fee; $200
  • Alcohol and Driving Education Program and program fee of $250
  • Mandatory Financial Responsibility Insurance

Criminal Penalties

  • Fine maximum: $2,500.
  • Imprisonment maximum: 5 years
  • Driver's license suspension (can be revoked for life)

Fourth and Subsequent DWI Offense

Administrative Penalties

  • Driver's license suspension: For life.
  • Driver's license reinstatement fee: $82.
    • Written test fee: $32
    • Driving exam fee: $19
  • Restricted driver's license fee: $125 (if you have a EDL the fee is $150)
  • Alcohol Assessment screening fee; $200
  • Alcohol and Driving Education Program and program fee of $250
  • Mandatory Financial Responsibility Insurance

Criminal Penalties

  • Fine maximum: $5,000.
  • Imprisonment maximum: 10 years

DUI Accident Resulting in Injury or Death

A judge can fine you up to $5,000 and sentence you to a prison term of 15 years for an accident involving a DWI that cause and injury. In the event of a death you can be charged with manslaughter, fined $10,000 and go to prison for 15 years.

Drivers Under 21 with a BAC Over 0.02 %

If you're a driver under 21 years old, and you're caught driving with a BAC over 0.02%,

Administrative Penalties

  • Driver's license suspended:
    • 1st offense: 6 months
    • 2nd and subsequent offense: 1 year or until 21 years old (whichever is longer).
  • Driver's license reinstatement fee: $82.
    • Written test fee: $32
    • Driving exam fee: $19
  • Restricted driver's license fee: $125 (if you have a EDL the fee is $150)
  • Alcohol Assessment screening fee; $200
  • Alcohol and Driving Education Program and program fee of $250
  • Mandatory Financial Responsibility Insurance

Other Repercussions

Ignition Interlock Device

After serving some of your license suspension you may be eligible for a Ignition Interlock Device Restricted Driver's License (RDL). This will enable you to have a driver's license if you have a Ignition Interlock Device (IID) installed on your vehicle. This device, which is connected to the ignition, prevents the vehicle from starting if the driver has any measurable alcohol in their breath.

In order to determine if you are eligible for a RDL you will need to call (802) 828-2061 so that your driving record can be reviewed. Please make sure that you call before visiting the DMV to apply for a RDL to be sure all of your requirements have been met.

If you are eligible for a RDL you will have to have an IID installed by an approved vendor. You will be responsible for fees such as: installation, maintenance, purchase or leasing cost, data retrieval, and any other fees the manufacture may require.

You can visit the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles for more information on Ignition Interlock Devices or Restricted Driver's License.

Insurance

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.

Related Content

Provide Feedback

Looking for DUI & DWI in Another State?