Vermont DUI Laws

Vermont’s laws classify a DUI as any driver with a BAC of 0.08% or higher. This is 0.04% for commercial drivers or 0.02% for bus drivers and drivers under 21.
Written by Michelle Ballestrasse
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Updated on Dec 08, 2022
Vermont DUI laws state that any driver over the age of 21 cannot have a blood-alcohol level of 0.08% or higher. This is reduced to 0.04% for commercial drivers and 0.02% for underage drivers and bus drivers.
Each year, over 10,000 people in the US are killed on the road as a result of drunk driving crashes.
Driving while
under the influence
of drugs or alcohol is a dangerous crime and penalties vary by state. Even a first-time offense can cost drivers up to $10,000 in fines and legal fees—and it will most certainly impact your
car insurance
rates, too.
The car insurance comparison and broker app
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What is a DUI/DWI?

A DUI refers to driving under the influence while a DWI means driving while intoxicated or impaired.
Each state determines the difference between the two. Vermont uses the term DUI in reference to anyone driving with alcohol, drugs, or a combination of the two in their system.
A DUI does not have to involve any actual driving. As long as the offender is in a position to exert actual physical control of the car, including just sitting in the driver’s seat, they can be charged with a DUI.
Key Takeaway The car does not have to be in motion, or even running, for an intoxicated driver to be charged with a DUI.

DUI in Vermont

In Vermont, it is illegal to operate a vehicle with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08% or higher. For commercial vehicle drivers, that level is 0.04%. For bus drivers and drivers under 21, the threshold is 0.02%.
If you’re found with a BAC above the legal limit, you will be charged with a per se DUI, which means that whether or not you’re actually impaired by the alcohol is moot.
Every state has an
implied consent
law stipulating that you consent to be tested if you’re suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
If you’re lawfully arrested for a DUI, you must submit to a urine, blood, or breath test. You do not have the right to consult with a lawyer before completing the test.

Penalties for DUI in Vermont

All offenses for DUIs in Vermont carry penalties dependent on the offender’s previous history, as well as their BAC at the time of the violation, and whether or not the DUI resulted in injury or death.
First offense
$750 maximum
Up to 2 years
License suspension
90 days
Ignition interlock device
Eligible after 30 days probation
SR-22 requirement
This is extended to a minimum of one year if the DUI resulted in an injury or fatality.
Second offense
$1,500 maximum
Up to two years, with a minimum of 60 hours in jail or 200 of community service
License suspension
18 months
Ignition interlock device
Eligible after 90 days probation
SR-22 requirement
For a second or subsequent DUI, the driver’s vehicle may be immobilized by court order for 18 months or until the driver's license is reinstated.
Second and subsequent offenders may be required by a judge to complete a drug and alcohol screening and undertake a recommended treatment program, which may count towards sentenced jail time.
Third offense
$2,000 to $3,000
96 hours to 5 years
License suspension
Ignition interlock device
Eligible after 1 year probation
SR-22 requirement
The third or subsequent offense may result in a court-ordered forfeiture and sale of the driver’s vehicle.
DUIs also carry more severe penalties when the following circumstances are met:
  • High BAC: Offenders with a prior DUI conviction will be prohibited from driving with a BAC of 0.02%, in addition to the standard penalties, for up to three years after conviction.
  • Injury or death: A DUI that results in injury or death carries a maximum of five years in jail. The maximum fine for injury is $5,000, while for death is $10,000.
Offenders looking for a
driver's license reinstatement
must pay any outstanding fines and fees and complete an alcohol and driving education program.
Second-time offenders must also enroll in an alcohol and driving rehabilitation program. Third-time offenders must complete all of these requirements and maintain sobriety for three consecutive years.
Key Takeaway DUI penalties in Vermont are more severe if the DUI results in injury or death.
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Does a DUI impact car insurance in Vermont?

Yes, insurance companies take DUIs very seriously and you’ll be classified as an
at-risk driver
With a DUI on your record, you can reasonably expect that insurance carriers will charge you significantly higher rates or they may refuse to insure you entirely.
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Your insurance carrier will also be required to
fill out an SR-22
to prove you have the state-mandated minimum insurance coverage.

Other effects of a DUI

Beyond the conviction penalties and higher insurance rates, DUIs can have some other lasting impacts on your life.
License revocation: After a DUI, you run the risk of having your license revoked if you’re charged with other serious offenses.
Ignition interlock device: All states have some type of ignition interlock program requiring drivers convicted of a DUI to install an interlock device in their vehicle to disable the engine if alcohol is detected on their breath.
Background checks: Your DUI will show up on a background check indefinitely, which can cause issues for future employment endeavors.

How to find cheap insurance after a DUI

Finding affordable insurance after a DUI conviction can be difficult on your own. No matter what your record looks like,
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