drunk driving laws

Vermont DUI Laws & Vermont DUI Attorneys

Vermont DUI law provides two ways that drivers can be arrested and convicted of DUI offenses. The first theory is the theory that says that drivers can be convicted if there is ample evidence that their driving was impaired by alcohol at the time of the arrest. Evidence collected would include the driver's physical appearance, field sobriety tests, and driving patterns.

The other theory allows drivers to be arrested and convicted of DUI based on their blood alcohol content (BAC). Under Vermont law it is illegal to drive with a BAC of .08% or higher. Using this theory, a driver's driving pattern does not matter when prosecuting a DUI case.

DUI Arrests in Vermont

If you are arrested on suspicion of DUI in the state of Vermont, you will face two separate cases. First, you will face a criminal court case. This case will determine most of the consequences of your crime, including potential jail time and fines. You will want to have a lawyer working with you to prove that you deserve smaller penalties for your drunk driving offense.

You will also face a pre-conviction license suspension from the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles. You have the right to request a hearing with the DMV, but this is not automatically granted. The request must be made within a few days of your arrest, or your license will be automatically suspended. Your lawyer will help you make the request for the hearing correctly so that you can have the chance to argue for your right to drive.

At the time of your arrest you will be asked to submit to a BAC test. You can refuse to take this test, but if you do the law allows you to be punished more severely. You should talk to your DUI attorney before making this decision.

Basic Consequences for First Time Offenders

First-time offenders who are guilty of Vermont DUI offenses can expect to face the following consequences at their criminal court hearings:

Vermont has no washout period for DUI offenses. This means that all previous DUI offenses will be considered as part of your record. Subsequent DUI charges will bring stricter penalties. A third Vermont DUI conviction is considered a felony.

License Suspension for Vermont DUI Your license will also be suspended as a result of your DUI conviction. Typical license suspension times are as follows:

You will have to pay $80 to have your license reinstated at the end of your suspension time. You may find that you are asked to use an ignition interlock device for a period of time after your suspension. If you refuse to take the BAC test and are a first-time offender, your license suspension time will increase to six months.

Insurance Consequences

Your insurance rates will increase after your DUI arrest, or your insurance provider will decide to cancel your policy. Either way, you will live with the insurance consequences for a long time. If you need to shop for new insurance, you will find that the cost is quite a bit more than it was before your Vermont DUI conviction.

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