Most of the information you’ll find on Delaware alcohol-related laws has to do with driving under the influence (“DUI”).
In the State of Delaware a driver is considered legally impaired when the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08 percent or above. Also, the presence of any drug in one’s blood is enough evidence to convict a driver of a DUI. You can even get arrested for DUI with a BAC of less than .08 if you appear to be impaired enough to be a danger to others.
Delaware has extremely strict laws for drunk driving, and when convicted of DUI, you can count on losing your finances, reputation, job, and your freedom. At your first DUI arrest, your driver’s license will be taken at the time of the arrest and you will be issued a temporary permit that will expire 15 days from the time of your arrest.
When you are convicted of your first DUI, your license will be suspended for one year. You may receive a reduction in suspension under the “First Offender Program Election,” which means you pay between $500-$1,500, and you will be put in jail for sixty days to six months.
After your second DUI conviction in Delaware, your license will be revoked for 18 months for a BAC less than .16 or if you refuse to have your BAC tested. If your BAC tests between .16 and .19 percent your license will be revoked for two years.
If your BAC is .20 or higher, you will have your license revoked for 30 months. The fine for your second DUI will be $750-$2,500, and you will receive a mandatory imprisonment for 60 days – 18 months. As you can see, drinking and driving penalties in Delaware are some of the most severe in the entire country.
All second and future DUI convictions require that an ignition interlock device be placed on all vehicles registered under your name after the first 12 months of revocation.
The third DUI arrest in Delaware is a felony if it occurs within five years of the two prior offenses. The fine for your third DUI will be $1,500-$5,000, and you will receive a mandatory prison term of 1-2 years.
Your fourth drunk driving arrest is a Class E felony any time after the first 3 offenses. The fine for your fourth DUI conviction will be between $3,000-$7,000 and you will receive a prison term of 2-5 years.
Being arrested and/or charged with DUI in Delaware is serious business, perhaps more serious than in any other state as far punishment is concerned. If you are facing your very first DUI charge, you must contact a Delaware criminal defense attorney right away.