Vermont Implied Consent Law
By law, all drivers in Vermont who are pulled over and suspected of Driving Under the Influence (DUI), are required to take a blood or breath chemical test to determine their Blood Alcohol Content (BAC). Anyone who registers a BAC over .08 will be arrested for drunk driving.
Drivers are obligated to take a chemical test when requested by an officer because of the state's Implied Consent Law, which states that by simply choosing to operate a vehicle, drivers have automatically agreed to allow the state to test for intoxication using a chemical test.
Most officers will administer a breath test as their first option because they can perform the test roadside. But, if for some reason the breath test is malfunctioning or is not an option, officers can take driveers to a detention center where a blood test can be given. It's also important to note, that drivers have the right to request a second test if they agree to the officer's initial test.
Despite the Implied Consent Law, drivers do have the option of refusing a chemical test, but there will be consequences for doing so. In Vermont, if you choose not to take the test, your license will automatically be suspended for 6 months, which is twice as long as if you were to be convicted of a DUI. Additionally, a refusal will be used as evidence against you in court, and if you're convicted you could be susceptible to a steeper punishment. Drivers in Vermont have the right to talk with an attorney before they decide to refuse the test. They have 30 minutes to both talk to their attorney and make the decision.
If you ultimately refused to take a chemical test, and would like to fight the suspension of your license, you have exactly seven days to deliver or post mark a request for an Administrative License Suspension hearing, in which you will be able to defend your reason for refusing the test. If you plan on requesting a hearing, it's very important that you speak with an experienced DUI attorney first so they can give you advice and represent you at the hearing.
Repeat Test Refusal
If on separate occasions you refuse to take chemical tests, the punishments for doing so will get increasingly more severe with each refusal. For a second refusal in Vermont, your license will be suspended for 18 months. A third refusal will result in a lifetime suspension, with the option of getting driving privileges back after a year with the installment of an Ignition Interlock Device.