What Is a Felony DUI in Vermont?

Aggravating factors that can make a drunk driving charge a felony.

Vermont's DUI laws prohibit operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more or while under the influence of (impaired by) drugs or alcohol. In most instances, a DUI conviction will be a misdemeanor. But, if a case involves certain aggravating factors, a DUI can be charged as a felony.

Here are some of the circumstances that can result in felony DUI charges in Vermont.

Third or Subsequent DUI Conviction Is a Felony

Typically, a first or second DUI conviction is a misdemeanor in Vermont. But when a driver has two or more prior DUI convictions where at least one prior was within the past 20 years, the third (or subsequent) offense will be a felony.

A third DUI conviction carries up to five years in jail and a maximum $2,500 in fines. And anyone convicted of a fourth or subsequent offense faces up to ten years in prison and a maximum $5,000 in fines.

Felony Charges for DUIs Involving Injuries and Deaths

Drivers who are convicted of a DUI involving serious bodily injuries are generally looking at up to 15 years in prison and a maximum $5,000 fine. A DUI that results in a fatality carries a fine of up to $10,000 and a maximum 15 years in prison and the driver could face vehicular manslaughter.

Also, these penalties can be more severe if the driver has prior convictions.

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