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What is a DUI in Vermont?

Vermont DUI laws prohibit individuals from operating or being in control of a vehicle if they are under the influence of liquor or drugs. Following the state laws, individuals risk being found guilty of a DUI if they drive a vehicle while their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08 percent or more. For commercial drivers, DUI occurs if their BAC is 0.02 percent and above. The Vermont Judiciary handles both civil and criminal DUI violations and penalizes offenders. The Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles also administers penalties on offenders.

What happens when you get a DUI for the First Time in Vermont?

Getting a first DUI ticket in Vermont could either be a civil or criminal traffic violation. There is no mandatory minimum jail sentence for a first time DUI. A first time civil DUI is usually punishable by the loss of the privilege to drive a vehicle for ninety days. A first offense criminal DUI is a misdemeanor that is punishable by up to two-year maximum jail time. The court may also penalize offenders with fines up to $750. The penalties for a first-time DUI in Vermont can become more severe if it results in injuries or death. Offenders can request a hearing to contest DUI tickets in the Superior Court.

How Likely is Jail Time After a First DUI in Vermont?

In Vermont, first-time DUI offenders are unlikely to receive jail time since the DUI laws do not mandate a minimum sentence for this offense. A first DUI may be a civil offense that only results in the suspension of license for ninety days. However, a first criminal DUI is a misdemeanor, and offenders can face a maximum two-year jail sentence.

What are the Typical Penalties for a DUI Conviction in Vermont?

Having a DUI conviction in Vermont carries some consequences that include jail time, fines, license suspension, and community service. Under 23 VSA Section 1210, penalties that offenders can face due to the number of DUI convictions include:

  • First offense: First-time DUI offenders in Vermont face a possible jail sentence of up to two years. Offenders may also not receive any jail sentence but a maximum fine of $750. The DMV may suspend a first-time offender’s license for ninety days. If the DUI incident resulted in injuries, the suspension could go up to a year.
  • Second offense: A second DUI conviction within twenty years carries a possible two-year maximum jail sentence. The mandatory minimum jail term is sixty hours, and it can be substituted for two hundred hours of community service. Such offenders also face a maximum fine of $1500. They can likewise lose their driving privileges for eighteen months.
  • Third offense: An individual convicted of a DUI, and has two prior convictions within twenty years may face jail term between ninety-six hours to five years. This offense also results in a $2500 maximum fine and an indefinite revocation of their license.
  • Fourth and subsequent offenses: A fourth DUI conviction and other subsequent convictions carry a penalty of not more than a $5000 fine and jail time of up to ten years. The offender must serve at least 192 consecutive hours of the jail sentence.
  • DUI resulting in death or injuries: This type of offense carries a fine that ranges from $5000 to $10000. Offenders may also face possible jail time of up to fifteen years.

After completing the minimum mandatory suspension period and other court orders, offenders can participate in an alcohol and driving rehabilitation program to get their license reinstated. The court can also order drivers to equip an ignition interlock device in their vehicles.

How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Vermont?

DUI records in Vermont can exist on an individual’s record for life. Interested persons cannot fully expunge a DUI conviction from their record. However, the law allows the sealing of DUI for first-time offenders with only one conviction. A ten-year period must have passed since their sentence was carried out. Eligible persons can file a motion to seal their DUI at the court where the case was filed.

Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. Operating independently of any state entity, these websites often make searching simpler. Such sites are not limited by geographic location and offer flexible search options that may help when starting a search for a specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:

  • The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
  • The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state that person resides in or was accused in.

Third-party sites are independent from government sources, and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.

How do I Find DUI Checkpoints in Vermont?

DUI/sobriety checkpoints in Vermont are legal and conducted weekly. Law enforcement officers conduct such checkpoints on the highways to detect and apprehend individuals guilty of impaired driving.

What is an Aggravated DUI in Vermont?

In Vermont, DUI carries enhanced penalties if some aggravating factors transpire during the incident. Under the DUI laws, an aggravated DUI can occur following these factors:

  • Felony DUI convictions: Persons with three or more DUI convictions commit a felony that is punishable by life-long consequences and harsher penalties.
  • Blood alcohol concentration: While a BAC of 0.8 percent or higher results in a DUI conviction, having a BAC of 0.16 percent while in control of a vehicle carries harsher punishments.
  • If a DUI incident results in a motor accident that involves death or serious bodily injuries to persons. This offense carries the highest possible jail time for a DUI.

What Happens When You Get a DUI in Vermont?

Having a DUI in Vermont can lead to loss of the privilege to drive, jail time, fines, and other consequences. A criminal DUI is usually a misdemeanor, but certain aggravating factors can result in a felony conviction. Upon the issuance of a DUI ticket, individuals can decide to plead not guilty and challenge it in court. If the hearing goes in their favor, the court can reduce the penalties or dismiss the ticket.

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