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  • DUI & DWI in Vermont

    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 license suspension of 6 months, 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.

    Penalties

    First Offense

    You can be charged up to $750 and heaved into jail for as long as 2 years. In addition, your license will be immediately suspended for 3 months and can only be reinstated after you enroll in an alcohol and drug rehabilitation program.

    Second Offense

    The judge can sentence you to up to 2 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.

    Third Offense

    Your license will be immediately revoked for life. In addition, you will be charged up to $2,500, and could also spend up to 5 years in prison.

    DUI Accident Resulting in Injury

    A judge can fine you up to $5,000 and sentence you to a prison term of 15 years.

    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.

    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%, upon your 1st offense your license will be suspended for 6 months and you will be required to complete a drug and alcohol education program. Get nabbed for a 2nd offense and your license will be suspended for 1 year or until you turn 21 years old (whichever is longer), and you must again enroll in a drug and alcohol education program.

    Other Repercussions

    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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