Vermont DUI 101

The state of Vermont is tough on drivers who drive or operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, punishing both Vermont DUI and Vermont DWI offenses equally.  Since 1998, Vermont has mandated more stringent Vermont DUI and DWI laws than in previous years and as a result has shown a 54 percent decline in alcohol-related driving accidents.

What Constitutes a Vermont DUI?

In Vermont, an adult aged 18 or older is considered legally intoxicated with a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or higher. An adult under age 21 is considered legally intoxicated with a blood alcohol content of .02 percent or higher.

If caught driving while under the influence of alcohol (DWI), you will be arrested and face serious consequences, including either the suspension or revocation of your license plus additional penalties.

Refusing to take a sobriety test will result in the prompt suspension of your license for a period of no less than six months, whether or not you are later convicted of a DWI does not matter. Vermont is subject to the law of consent, and this law states that you must agree to test your blood alcohol level upon request by any law enforcement officer.

Once you enter the justice system, you will be required to appear in court in front of a judge to plead your case.

If convicted, you face these penalties:

First Offense

You can be fined up to $750 and imprisoned for up to two years in jail. In addition, your license will be suspended for a period of no less than six months and you must attend a court-approved alcohol and drug rehabilitation program. Upon completion of the program, you may petition the court and a local DMV office to reinstate your driving license. However, fees apply.

Second Offense

You can be sentenced to up to two years in jail and fined up to $1,500. You must also perform 200 hours of community service. You also face mandatory license suspension for 18 months without the possibility of early reinstatement regardless of whether you complete an alcohol and drug rehabilitation program.

Third Offense

You will promptly lose your license without the possibility for reinstatement, meaning you will lose your driving privileges for life. In addition, you will be fined up to $2,500, serve up to five years in jail, and be required to perform 400 hours of community service.

DUI Accident Resulting in Injury

If you are involved in an alcohol-related accident and cause injury to another pedestrian or motorist, you will be charged up to $5,000 and could face up to 15 years in jail.

DUI Accident Resulting in Death

If you are involved in an alcohol-related accident and cause the death of another person, you could face up to 15 years in jail and possibly be charged with manslaughter charges. Fines could reach as high as $10,000, excluding court courts.

Can You Get a Restricted License?

Vermont does not offer a restricted license or any other transportation options.

DUI Programs

According to the Vermont Department of Heath, “Individuals who have subsequent alcohol related offenses are required to enroll in the CRASH Program within 30 days of his/her suspension. If the individual does not enroll within 30 days, and remain enrolled until completion, a non-compliance hearing will be scheduled with the court.”

Costs for Vermont DUI education programs vary by facility; average cost projections are not published by the Vermont Department of Health at this time.