VERMONT DUI LAWS:
Vermont has two different but interrelated laws that both attempt to suspend your license. One is the DUI Civil Suspension law, and the other is the DUI Criminal charge. As the name suggests, one is a civil violation – like a speeding ticket – that does not allow the state to ask for any jail time. The other is a real crime– that involves fines and possible jail time. BOTH include suspending your license as a consequence to being found guilty.
Think of the DUI Civil Suspension as a “speeding ticket on steroids.” The prosecutor must prove that the officer followed all of the laws safeguarding your civil rights, that he or she used the breath test machine correctly, and that your breath test result was 0.08 percent blood alcohol concentration within two hours of driving.
If you refused the breath test at the police station, the prosecutor has to prove that the police officer had a reasonable belief that you were under the influence, that he or she gave you the opportunity to take the breath test, and that you refused.
In a DUI Criminal case, the prosecutor must prove that you were driving or in control of a motor vehicle, that the vehicle was on a road or parking lot that is open to the regular flow of traffic (i.e., a street or parking lot, but not a farm field or private driveway), and that you were “under the influence” of alcohol “to the slightest degree.”