Vermont DUI First Offense
In Vermont, it is illegal to operate any vehicle (car, truck, snowmobile, boat, etc.) with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or higher. If you are caught doing so, you will be charged with a DUI. It is also possible to be convicted of a DUI even if your BAC is lower than a 0.08, if the courts can prove that your driving was affected by alcohol.
If you have been arrested for a DUI, and especially if it is your first offense, the best thing you can do for yourself is to hire an experienced Vermont DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Vermont DUI law is complex, and there have been many recent changes. This is one time when you really want to have an expert on your side, someone to make sure that you are treated fairly throughout the process.
Vermont First Offense DUI Penalties:
When you are arrested for a DUI in Vermont, you are about to go through two separate processes: civil and criminal.
You will face a 90 day civil suspension of your driver's license before you ever even get to court. The arresting officer will take your driver's license and give you a Notice of Intent to Suspend. You can contest this suspension by mailing the notice in and requesting a hearing.
You will be required to complete an SR22 filing with the DMV before they will reinstate your driver's license. You can obtain your SR22 insurance policy and filing by entering your zip code below and completing the short form on the following page:
You will also be required to complete a CRASH program. You will have 30 days to enroll in the program. If you do not do so, you will have to go to court for a non-compliance hearing.
In Vermont, a first offense DUI is a misdemeanor. If you are convicted in court, you will face a maximum jail time of 2 years and a maximum fine of $750.
You will also be required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle and purchase SR22 insurance.
Vermont and Ignition Interlock:
As of July 1, 2011, Vermont implemented a new ignition interlock program. An Ignition Interlock Restricted Driver License (RDL) allows qualifying drivers to drive an interlock-equipped vehicle while their regular license is suspended or revoked because of a DUI.
If this is your first offense DUI, you must first serve 30 days of your suspension before being eligible for an RDL.
If this is your first offense DUI, you must operate on an RDL for 6 months before you can get your full driver's license back.
Your ignition interlock device (IID) must be equipped with a camera and must be installed by an approved vendor. Click here for a list of Vermont's approved IID vendors.
You will be responsible for all the associated costs, including: installation, leasing, calibration, data retrieval, service, and removal fees.
To qualify and apply for an RDL, you must:
- Appear in person at the Montpelier DMV office.
- Purchase SR22 insurance.
- Pay a $125 fee.
- Enroll in a Project CRASH approved alcohol program.
- Install an IID.
Note: You will not qualify for an RDL if your DUI resulted in serious injury or death of someone.
Vermont SR22 Insurance:
If you are convicted of a DUI, you will be required to file a Financial Responsibility Insurance form with the Vermont DMV. This form is called an SR22 form, and hence, the insurance is often called "SR22 insurance". It is simply a high risk insurance that proves to the Vermont DMV that you, as a high-risk driver, are in fact insured.
You will be required to carry SR22 insurance for at least three years. Your SR22 policy must be provided by an insurance company that is licensed to do business in Vermont. You can learn more about those companies by entering your zip code here:
Other Vermont DUI Resources
Vermont DUI Laws - A complete overview of Vermont DUI laws including fines, jail time and penalties for each offense.
Vermont SR22 Insurance - Learn everything you need to know about Vermont SR22 filing requirements with the DMV and find out how you can save hundreds of dollars each year on your Vermont SR22 insurance.
Vermont DUI Lawyers - Contact one of our Vermont DUI lawyers today.
Vermont Alcohol & Drug Education Programs - We offer a complete listing of Vermont approved alcohol & drug education programs.