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Delaware DUI Laws


Delaware DUI Laws state that you can be arrested of DUI if:

(1) your driving abilities are impaired because of alcohol or drug intoxication wherein the officer on the scene will have to make the judgment based on driving patterns, field sobriety test performance, physical appearance, or chemical test results;

(2) if your blood alcohol content is 0.08% or higher as mandated by the per se law of Delaware. Your driving pattern won’t hold any significance if you are arrested based on the per se law.

Once arrested of a DUI offense in Delaware, you will be faced with two charges. The first charge will be a criminal court case where fines, jail time, and required educational programs will be imposed, and the second charge is the Department of Motor Vehicle Administrative hearing where you have to request for one to prove your case. A period of 15 days is given for you to be able to request a hearing. If you do not meet the 15-day period, your driver’s license will be automatically suspended.

Since the state of Delaware is an implied consent state, once you are caught driving in the state’s road in an intoxicated condition, you will assent to a BAC test. Refusal to take the said test will be used against you in the criminal court and you will be charged with stricter punishments.

The state of Delaware offers a “First Offense Election”. This policy is open for first-time DUI offenders if they have zero DUI convictions in their record. An individual may choose to enroll in this program and install an ignition interlock device in all his motor vehicles. You have to remain in the program for a minimum of 5 months after the device has been installed.

Delaware DUI laws impose strict sanctions and penalties to DUI offenses, not including the DMV administrative license suspension. Here are the lists of possible punishments:

1. First DUI conviction – jail time of 6 months and fines from $500 to $1,500;
2. Second DUI conviction – mandatory jail time of 60 days to 18 months and fines from $750 to $2,500;
3. Third DUI conviction – minimum jail time of 1 year up to 2 years and fines from $1,500 to $5,000. The third offense is considered as a Class G felony offense in the state; and
4. Fourth DUI conviction – minimum jail time of 2 years up to 5 years and fines from $3,000 to $7,000. The fourth offense is considered as a Class E felony offense in the state.

Aside from these, the DMV administrative hearing also imposes license suspensions for a corresponding offense. You will also be required to take complete courses of instructions. An ignition interlock device can be installed in your vehicle after a certain time period.