In the state of Delaware, it is illegal to drive, operate or be in physical control of a vehicle when under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If a chemical test indicates that a person has a blood alcohol content, or BAC, of .08 percent or more, or a test indicates the presence of prescription or illegal drugs, a driver could be charged with DUI. A person who is under the age of 21 and found to have a BAC of .02 percent or more and commercial drivers with a BAC of .04 percent or more can also be charged with DUI
Zero Tolerance Law
Delaware has a .02 percent zero tolerance law that applies to minors under the age of 21. Minors will have their driver’s licenses suspended for 2 months on a first offense and between 6 months and 1 year for each subsequent offense. If a minor does not have a driver’s license, a $200 fine will be imposed for a first offense and between $400 and $1,000 for each subsequent offense.
Penalties regarding Implied Consent
Delaware has an implied consent law regarding chemical test for impairment. According to the law, a person who is driving in the state has voluntarily agreed to take the test. If a driver refuses a required chemical test, that person’s driving privileges may be suspended for a period of time depending on the number of times a person has refused the test in the past. For the first refusal, suspension will last for 12 months. A second refusal results in suspension for 18 months. Third and subsequent refusals result in a 24-month suspension.
Penalties for a 1st and 2nd DUI offenses
First time offenders may enroll in a First Offense Election program rather than stand trial if they have a BAC of less than .15 percent. Enrollment is an admission of guilt that will result in a license suspension for one year. However, a driver enrolled in the program may obtain an IID license that permits the use of an ignition interlock device after one month of license suspension.
Otherwise, a first conviction includes a maximum of 6 months prison time, a fine of between $500 and $1,500 as well as a license suspension of from 1 to 2 years based on BAC levels. A second conviction includes from 60 days to 18 months prison time and a fine of between $750 and $2,500. There is a 24 to 30 month license suspension based upon the level of BAC, the option of using an ignition interlock device.
Penalties for a felony DUI offenses
A third conviction is considered a class G Felony. It includes from 1 to 2 years of prison time and a fine of no more than $5,000. There is a 2 to 3 year license suspension based upon BAC, the option of using an ignition interlock. A fourth conviction is considered a class E Felony and it includes from 2 to 5 years of prison time, a fine of up to $7,000 and a 5 year suspension regardless of the level of BAC. In addition, the convicted driver has the option of using an ignition interlock device after 4 years. A fifth conviction is a class E felony, punishable by a fine not more than $10,000 and 3 to 5 years prison time. A sixth conviction is a class D felony punishable by a fine not more than $10,000 and 4 to 8 years prison time. A seventh conviction is a class C felony punishable by a maximum fine of $15,000 and 5 to 15 years prison time.