Vermont has two sets of procedures that you must attend to when you have been charged with a DUI—administrative and judicial. We suggest that you consult with a DUI attorney immediately to make sure you get the best advice for your particular situation as laws are always changing.
Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Procedures Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Vermont is one of 42 states that has implemented ALR which means that your license will be confiscated immediately if your BAC is above .08 OR if you refuse a BAC test. Your license will either be suspended or revoked at that point, even though you have not been officially convicted in a criminal trial. In fact, you can be charged with an administrative license suspension even if you are not later charged with driving under the influence offense. This action was designed to be in addition to and separate from the traditional DUI judicial conviction penalties such as license suspension, jail time, community service hours, ignition interlock device, and alcohol and drug rehabilitation. You will be given a 7 day grace period during which you can drive under a temporary driving permit issued by the officer at the scene. During that time, you can request a hearing to challenge this case. This case will be heard by an administrative law judge. If you do not request a hearing, your license will be automatically remain suspended on the 8th day for 3 months. After the suspension period, you will have a restricted license allowing you to drive to work or school, health care providers, parole or probation meetings, drug and alcohol counseling, court-approved locations, and emergencies. Vermont allows you to install an interlock device in lieu of suspension after 30 days. Remember that this is a separate case from the judicial case, with separate authorities and separate rulings. This can be a very important influence upon the judicial procedures, but you must act very quickly if you wish to challenge this.
Judicial Procedures In Vermont, the drunk driving law prohibits a person from driving when they have a BAC of .08% or higher. Courts will not order the installation and monitoring of an interlock device, however, depending on the circumstances, an interlock device can be installed in lieu of suspension..
License Revocation, Fines and Jail
- First Offense – Misdemeanor: up to $750 fine plus $160, up to 2 years in jail, 90 days license suspension (may be eligible for an ignition interlock restricted license after first 30 days of suspension), 6 months ignition interlock restricted license, and mandatory alcohol and driving education program before license will be reinstated. Possible alcohol screening and treatment as required.
- Second Offense – Misdemeanor: up to $1,500 fine plus $160 surcharge, up to 2 years in jail, 18 months license suspension (may be eligible for an ignition interlock restricted license after first 90 days of suspension), 18 months ignition interlock restricted license, mandatory alcohol and driving education program before license will be reinstated. Possible 200 hours of community service, alcohol screening and treatment, and immobilization of the vehicle.
- Third Offense – Felony: up to $2,500 fine plus $160 surcharge, up to 5 years in jail, lifetime revocation of license (may be eligible for an ignition interlock restricted license after first 1 year of suspension), and 3 years ignition interlock restricted license (RDL). If RDL permanently revoked then full license reinstatement will not be considered until 4 years from the date of suspension and only if 3 years of total abstinence from alcohol and/or drugs can be proven, and mandatory alcohol and driving education program before license will be reinstated. Possible 400 hours community service, alcohol screening, and treatment, and immobilization or forfeiture of vehicle.
- Fourth and Subsequent Offense – Felony: up to $5,000 fine plus $160 surcharge, up to 10 years in jail, lifetime suspension of license, and alcohol screening and treatment as required. Possible 400 hours of community service and immobilization or forfeiture of vehicle.