In terms of drunk driving and drunk driving related accidents, Vermont is one of the safest states in which to live. It is the only state that has been steadily showing an improvement in its drunk driving accident rates for over ten years. During that time, the state as a whole has had a 54% decline in accidents. The most likely reason for this vast improvement is that Vermont does not take driving under the influence incidents lightly at all. The state imposes very serious and strict Vermont DUI penalties on those who are caught and convicted of this dangerous crime, especially when it comes to repeat DUI penalty offenders.
First time offenders in the state can be fined as much as $750. They can also spend as long as two years in jail, much longer than most other states will allow for a first time offense, in accordance with Vermont DUI penalties. Offenders also have their licenses suspended for six full months and must begin taking approved alcohol and drug education and rehabilitation classes in order to have their licenses reinstated. Requiring offenders to take educational classes that can help them to discover and learn to control drinking problems is one of the biggest factors in stopping repeat offenders, which is perhaps why Vermont is so successful at reducing drinking and driving incidents.
Once a person is convicted of a DUI a second time, however, the Vermont DUI penalties start to get much more serious and drastic. Offenders can be placed in jail for up to two years, and they may also be fined as much as $1,500. Furthermore, 200 full hours of community service must be completed, and the driver’s license is automatically suspended for eighteen months. Unlike in other states, there is no way for the license to be reinstated early. Once it is gone, it is gone for the full duration. Again, drug and/or alcohol assessment, treatment, and education must be sought at the driver’s own expense.
Any person who is convicted of a third DUI, regardless of the time frame in which it happens, will have his or her license revoked for life in addition to other Vermont DUI penalties. This is incredibly stringent when compared to most other states, which don’t even make the charge a felony until the fourth or fifth conviction, and usually only when it has occurred within a set amount of time from the first. Obviously, then, there is absolutely no room in Vermont for repeat violators of the law; they will face the harshest possible Vermont DUI penalties.