Some would say the DUI laws in Vermont need a lot of improvement and based on the penalties and fines throughout the rest of the country, they may be right. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) only gives Vermont a 2-star rating and among other things, would like to see tougher ignition interlock device laws in place before raising the state’s overall rating.
Vermont DUI by the Numbers (based on 2012 overall numbers)
While most states in the country are seeing significant declines in driving fatalities, Vermont is one of the few that actually had an increase between 2002 and 2012. The overall fatality rate per 100,000 residents is also rather high compared to other states (3.7:100,000).
- 2,517 total DUI arrests (23 from under-18 drivers)
- 23 total alcohol-related fatalities (1 from under-21 drivers)
- 2.8 percent increase in alcohol-related fatalities
- 44.2 percent decrease in alcohol-related fatalities for under-21 drivers
- 52.4 percent of fatalities involved a driver with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .15+
- 100 percent of repeat offenders had a BAC of .15+
DUI First Offense Penalties in Vermont
While overall fines and penalties are rather low, the one area where Vermont offers a significant penalty is in first time offender jail sentences. Third time offenders also face rather severe penalties. Below are the fines and penalties for first time violations as of this writing:
- Monetary fines up to $750
- No mandatory IID required
- Up to two years in jail
- 90-day mandatory license suspension
Vermont has an implied consent law in place. First offenders will have a mandatory 6-month suspension for refusing to take the chemical tests. Second offenders must serve an 18-month suspension and third offenders refusing to take the test will forfeit their license permanently.
Vermont has no washout or lookback period at this time.
Should You Hire a DUI Attorney if Arrested and Charged in Vermont?
Vermont does not require a mandatory ignition interlock device nor does it have high monetary fines, but jail sentences and license suspensions can be significant, with a lifetime suspension for third time offenders. If arrested, you will probably want to fight the charges and try to have the case dismissed rather than face these penalties. In order to do this, you are going to need a local, skilled attorney to defend you. For more information about Vermont DUI attorneys and you case details, please fill out the Free DUI Arrest Evaluation Form.
Taryn J. White is a legal research specialist and DUI law news reporter. Her current accomplishments include helping those facing any driving under the influence arrest charges, get free online assistance in learning how to fight a DUI case for the best possible outcome.