Saving your job with the Vermont DUI Interlock Device

Prior to 2010 Vermont had zero laws that would allow a person convicted of DUI to get their license back earlier then the the 90 or 180 day suspension period for a DUI-first offense.  In a rural place like Vermont this law had drastic effects on those who needed to drive from their small town to a bigger one for work.

With average commutes for many Vermonters an hour or longer, a DUI conviction not only meant a permanent blemish on one’s record, thousands of dollars in fines and potential jail time, but also posed a substantial risk for one’s employment.

The Vermont legislation finally took a step in the right direction with the implementation of the DUI Interlock program (IID for short).  Now, those who are facing a DUI conviction may be eligible to pay for the installation of the device to cut their license suspension by up to 75%.

1)  DUI First Offense Convictions:  Can apply for IID after 30 days of suspension;

2)  DUI Second Offense Convictions:  Can apply for IID after 90 days of suspension;

3)  DUI Third Offense Convictions (Felony):  Can apply for IID after 1 year of suspension.

The IID is a great first step for those trying to put their life back in order after a DUI conviction in Vermont.  Although navigating the IID process can pose significant issues, the implementation of this law has given those facing such a conviction an ability to navigate their way though the shorter license suspension period so they can move on with as little collateral damage as possible.

Beware! your CDL could be in jeopardy even when not driving your truck

There are clear cut rules enumerated in Title 23 of the Vermont Statutes that state that operators of trucks requiring a Vermont Commercial Driver’s License may not operate them with a Blood Alcohol Contents of .04 or more.  However, there is also a blanket “influence” provision in the Statute, stating that if the driver of a truck in Vermont is “under the influence” they can still be charged with DUI even if their BAC is below .04.

“Under the influence” is a term used to define impairment “to the slightest degree”.  Which means that if the State can show any form of impairment they have met their evidentiary threshold to secure a conviction on a DUI.

This impairment threshold does not just apply to just CDL DUIs but also those for motorist driving private vehicles.  And, although the holder of a CDL may be driving their own vehicle, not their truck, they can still face serious penalties that will reach not only their regular driver’s license, but their CDL as well.

Beyond a DUI itself, other “major traffic infractions” such a Careless and Negligent Operation Conviction or an Excessive Speed Conviction can, when added together result in suspension of a Vermont CDL, even, like in the DUI, these convictions do not have anything to do with the operator driving their commercial vehicle.

As a result, it is important when facing such charges, to try and mitigate or eliminate the overall exposure that these Vermont traffic infractions may bring.  If ignored, these tickets can lead to serious long term consequences well beyond what many may have contemplated when they took a plea.