Vermont DUI License Suspension
If you are convicted of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in Vermont, your driver's license will most likely be suspended for a significant period of time. The length of the suspension term is dependent on a few things: whether the driver is a repeat offender, if injures and/or deaths were involved, if the driver refused to take a breath test, and if the driver had an extremely high Blood Alcohol Content (BAC). All of these circumstances can result in longer suspension terms.
Suspension Lengths For DUI Offenses
A 90-day suspension period is typical for a first-time drunk driving offense in Vermont, although the state reserves the right to suspend your license for a prolonged amount of time. Those drivers convicted of a second DUI will be facing at least an 18-month suspension term. Drivers who are convicted of a third DUI will receive a lifetime suspension.
Because Vermont abides by Implied Consent Laws, it is illegal to refuse a chemical intoxication test requested by an officer who is attempting to determine a driver's BAC. Because drivers have to agree to testing, however, they can technically refuse a test. Refusals come with serious consequences though.
Those who refuse a chemical will automatically have their driver's license suspended for 6 months, twice as long as a first-time DUI conviction sentence. The second time a driver refuses to take a test, they are subject to an immediate 18-month suspension term. If a driver attempts to refuse a test a third time, their driver's license can be suspended for life.
Obtaining A Restricted Driver's License
Vermont does allow for many drivers convicted of DUI to eventually apply for a Restricted Driver's License, which allows them to drive to work and medical related appointments while their license is still technically suspended. The time period in which a driver can apply differs drastically from case to case. In some cases, a RDL is issued along with a mandatory installation of an Ignition Interlock Device.
Vermont drivers have exactly seven days from the time of arrest to request a hearing to fight the immediate suspension of their license, otherwise suspension begins immediately. Hearings are appropriate for those drivers who believe that the officer did not comply with all the rules and regulations of conducting a DUI stop or if you believe there was a malfunction in a test given to determine intoxication levels. Additionally, if you would like to defend your decision to refuse a chemical test, a hearing is a good option.