Vermont DUI Laws, Fines and Penalties

Learn about the penalties for a DUI conviction in Vermont.

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What are the penalties for a DUI in Vermont?


1st Offense

2nd Offense

3rd Offense

Jail

Up to 2 years

Up to 2 years

5 years max.

Fines and Penalties

Up to $750

$1,500 max.

$2,500 max.

License Suspension

90 days

18 months

Life

IID** Required

No

No

--

Lookback Period: Lifetime – that is, a prior DUI can be used for your entire life (Period of time that prior DUIs are relevant for sentencing. Also known as a “washout” period.)

**Ignition Interlock Device

How much do you have to drink (BAC*) for a DUI in Vermont ?

Under 21

.02%

21 or older

.08%

Commercial

.04%

** BAC = blood alcohol content

How many drinks does it take? Check the BAC chart.

You may want to try our BAC Calculator, however I wouldn't let any results encourage you to drink and drive.

What if you refuse to take a chemical test in Vermont ?

Vermont  has an implied consent law. That means that if you refuse to submit to a chemical test you will be subject to a fine and automatic license suspension. Learn more about Vermont ’s implied consent law.

 

1st Offense

2d Offense

3rd Offense

Refusal to take test

6 month license suspension

18 month license suspension

Lifetime license suspension

Disclaimer: We try to keep the information provided here up to date. However, laws often change, as do their interpretation and application. Different jurisdictions within a state may enforce the laws in different ways. For that reason, we recommended that you seek the advice of a local attorney familiar with DUI cases in your area.

Can you plead to a lesser offense than DUI in Vermont ?

A defendant might receive a "wet reckless," or a conviction of reckless driving involving alcohol, as a result of a plea bargain in which a charge of drunk driving is reduced to a case of reckless driving. There is no statutory provision on whether a wet reckless plea bargain will be accepted in Vermont, but it's possible a lawyer may be able to create a plea bargain for you.

Drinking and Driving Laws in Vermont

The State of Vermont prohibits the operation of a motor vehicle by a driver that has a .08 percent or above blood alcohol concentration (BAC). The .08 percent limit is the standard measurement of the "impaired" driver throughout the United States. The State of Vermont has lower limits for drivers of commercial vehicles and drivers under the age of 21.The Vermont DUI law also includes driving under the influence of controlled substances such as marijuana, cocaine, inhalants and other intoxicants.

How many drinks does it take to reach the legal limit in Vermont? This question is often asked by drivers who want to know how many drinks they can have before reaching the .08 percent BAC limit. There are many variables that contribute to a BAC score and since each individual has unique physical attributes such as weight, sex, and physical conditioning, there really isn't one formula that is 100% accurate in all cases. There are charts and calculators that can serve as a general reference, however, these tools should not be used as a final decision to drink and drive.

The best answer is not to drink and drive. The State of Vermont has strict laws for drunk driving, and when you drink and drive in Vermont, you risk your freedom, finances and your future.

The first time you are arrested and convicted of drunk driving in the State of Vermont you will have your drivers license suspended for a minimum of 90 days. You will be ordered to successfully completed an alcohol and driving education program at your own expense, and you will be fined up to $750 or imprisoned up to 2 years or both. You will also be ordered to an alcohol or drug screening program and may be required to complete a therapy program at your own expense.

The second conviction for a DUI in Vermont will result in a fine up to $1,500 or you may be imprisoned up to 2 years or both. You will receive credit for time served if you attend a residential alcohol and/or drug facility and successfully complete the program. You may also be ordered to perform 200 hours of community service and your drivers license will be suspended for up to 18 months. For any second or subsequent conviction for drunk driving the State of Vermont may order that the vehicle used be immobilized, in addition your drivers license will not be reinstated until you have successfully completed an alcohol and driving rehabilitation program.

If you are arrested and convicted of a 3rd drunk driving offense your drivers license may be revoked for life. You will also be fined up to $2,500 or imprisoned up to 5 years or both. You will also be ordered to serve at least 400 hours of community service and 100 consecutive hours of your imprisonment must be served and cannot be suspended. You may receive credit for time served if you attend a residential alcohol and/or drug facility and successfully complete the program. For any second or subsequent conviction for drunk driving the State of Vermont may order that the vehicle used be immobilized.

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