Vermont's Drugged Driving Law

Learn about the laws and penalties for driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) in Vermont.

Vermont’s drugged driving law is located at Vermont Title 23, Chapter 13, Section 1201. It states that " A person shall not operate, attempt to operate, or be in actual physical control of any vehicle on a highway … when the person is under the influence of any other drug or under the combined influence of alcohol and any other drug.

In other words, in Vermont it’s a crime to drive while under the influence of a drug. No blood testing standard is established in Vermont – that is, there is no fixed amount of drugs within the blood system that determines conviction. Whether a driver is impaired is determined on a case-by-case basis and at the discretion of the prosecutor.

What drugs are prohibited?

Vermont’s drugged driving law is directed at the prohibition of “any drug.” This includes any substance “which affects the nervous system, brain, or muscles of a person so as to impair, noticeably and appreciably, a person’s ability to drive a vehicle safely (A listing of controlled substances regulated by federal law are found at the Drug Enforcement Administration website.) It’s not an acceptable defense to a drugged driving charge to claim that the driver is legally entitled to use the controlled substance.

What happens if a driver is convicted of drug impaired driving in Vermont?

A driver arrested for drugged driving in Vermont will be charged with driving under the influence and subject to DUI penalties. A conviction for drugged driving will be considered as a prior offense for purposes of calculating punishment regardless of whether a subsequent offense is due to alcohol or drugs. Read more about Vermont’s DUI laws.

Do Vermont drivers have to submit to drug testing?

Yes, there is an implied consent rule for blood, saliva, and urine testing. The refusal to take the test can be admitted into evidence against the driver.

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