A first-offense DUI (driving under the influence) conviction in Vermont generally results in driver's license suspension, a fine, and possible jail time. Lots of factors can come into play with sentencing, but the following are the minimum and maximum consequences of a first DUI in Vermont.
A DUI is considered a first offense in Vermont if the driver has no prior DUI convictions. Factors such as injuries and deaths can enhance the penalties, but ultimately, it's up to the judge to decide the penalties within the following ranges.
Jail time. A first-offense DUI can carry up to two years in jail. In many cases, the judge will place the offender on probation without requiring jail time.
Fines. A person who's convicted of a first DUI will be fined up to $750.
In addition to the criminal penalties, the driver's license will also be suspended for 90 days.
Restricted license. A suspended driver can apply for a restricted license after completing 30 days of the suspension. The restricted license requires proof of insurance, an application fee, and the installation of an ignition interlock device.
Reinstatement. After the suspension has been served, the driver becomes eligible for reinstatement, provided the driver has met certain requirements. The driver must show that all criminal fines have been paid and that he or she has successfully completed a court-approved alcohol and drug education program.
High BAC. Drivers with a BAC (blood alcohol content) of .16% or more will have to complete three years of BAC probation. During this period, any vehicle operation with a BAC of .02% or more will be charged as a DUI and penalized as such.
Refusal. Refusal of a lawfully requested chemical test (typically, a breathalyzer or blood test) in violation of the state's implied consent law will result in a six-month license suspension. The restricted license may still be available.
If you've been arrested for driving under the influence in Vermont, make sure you get in contact with a DUI lawyer. An experienced local DUI attorney can help you understand what you're up against and counsel you on how best to handle your situation.