Many who have been arrested for a DUI-First Offense in Vermont have never been in trouble with the law before. As a result, many motorist facing such a prosecution will look online to find out what their potential penalty may be. The result for those not well versed in the Vermont law can be shocking…2 years in jail, $1,000 fine or both.
Although the maximum penalty would be enough to scare anyone, there is a bottom line cost that most individuals can expect to pay when facing a DUI-First Offense.
License Suspension: If convicted of a DUI, there is an automatic 90 day license suspension if you took the breath test or a 6 month suspension if you refused. However, the suspension itself only tells one part of the story.
SR-22 Insurance: If your license is suspended for a DUI-First Offense many insurance carriers will refuse to insure your vehicle. Vermont requires an SR-22 form to be filled out to show that a motors is covered by sufficient insurance before they agree to reinstate your license. The cost to have such insurance can be 3-5 times more than if you had a clean driving record. Over the course of the three year period, that could amount to $5,000 or more added to your premium.
Fine: Beyond the conviction, expect to pay a hefty fine if you choose to plead to a DUI charge. Customarily, the fine will depend on your blood-alcohol-level, your conduct during the pendency of the case and your criminal record. Although the fine may vary and can be negotiated to a certain degree, expect to pay at least a $600 fine as part of your DUI conviction.
Court Costs: Don’t expect to get away from a DUI with just paying the suggested fine, as the State of Vermont will also tack on Court Costs, which can equal as much as 50% of the total fine. As a result, a $600 fine will be increased by approximately $300 in court costs.
CRASH: Any person convicted of a DUI in Vermont must complete CRASH to have their license reinstated. There are two ways to complete CRASH, either through the weekend Course at the Clara Martin Center in White River Jct., or the weekly course at one of several locations across the State. The cost of CRASH varies some, but expect to pay at least $450 for the course.
Counseling: As a part of CRASH for this who are identified as higher risk, an individual convicted of a DUI must enroll in least 6 counseling sessions before they receive their certificate of completion from CRASH. Counselors can be found through the CRASH administrator and cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $80 per one hour session. Total cost: $480.
License Reinstatement Fee: You have completed all the steps and now are ready to receive your license back…not so fast, there is one more fee you have to pay to the Vermont DMV for them to reinstate your license. Cost: $73
TOTAL COST FOR A DUI-FIRST OFFENSE CONVICTION:
The scenarios played out above are not a guaranteed resolution. Each case is fact specific and may result in more or less severe consequences depending on the potential defenses that are available and the conduct of the accused.