Delaware

delawareDelaware State Law

Delaware has two sets of procedures that you must attend to when you have been charged with a DUI—administrative and judicial. We suggest that you consult with a DUI attorney immediately to make sure you get the best advice for your particular situation as laws are always changing.

Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Procedures
Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
Delaware is one of 42 states that has implemented ALR which means that your license will be confiscated immediately if your BAC is above .08 OR if you refuse a BAC test. Your license will either be suspended or revoked at that point, even though you have not been officially convicted in a criminal trial. In fact, you can be charged with an administrative license suspension even if you are not later charged with a driving under the influence offense. This action was designed to be in addition to and separate from the traditional DUI judicial conviction penalties such as license suspension, jail time, community service hours, ignition interlock device (IID), and alcohol and drug rehabilitation.

You will be given a 15 day grace period during which you can drive under a temporary driving permit issued by the officer at the scene. During that time, you can request a hearing to challenge this case. This case will be heard by an administrative law judge. If you do not request a hearing, your license will be automatically suspended on the 16th day for 3 months, although first time offenders can request a work permit after 30 days. After the suspension period, you will be required to get an ignition interlock device if your BAC is .15 or greater.

Remember that this is a separate case from the judicial case, with separate authorities and separate rulings. This can be a very important influence upon the judicial procedures, but you must act very quickly if you wish to challenge this.

Judicial Procedures
In Delaware, the drunk driving law prohibits a person from driving when they have a BAC of .08% or higher. Courts are required to order the installation and monitoring of an interlock device for any driver whose BAC levels are .15% or higher, even if it is a first offense.

License Revocation, Fines and Jail

  • First Offense – Misdemeanor: $500 to $1,150 fine, up to 6 months in jail, alcohol evaluation and treatment program, possible 12 month ignition interlock restriction upon license reinstatement, and license revocation as follows:
    • BAC 0.08 to less than 0.15: 12 months license revocation
      (may be eligible for an ignition interlock restricted license after 1 month)
    • BAC 0.15 to less than 0.19: 18 months license revocation
      (may be eligible for an ignition interlock restricted license after 45 days)
    • BAC 0.20 or greater: 24 months license revocation
      (may be eligible for an ignition interlock restricted license after 45 days)
  • Second Offense – Misdemeanor: $750 to $2,500 fine, 60 days to 18 months in jail, may be eligible for an ignition interlock restricted license after 12 months regardless of BAC, alcohol evaluation and treatment program, possible 12 month ignition interlock restriction upon license reinstatement, and license revocation as follows:
    • BAC 0.08 to less than 0.15: 24 months license revocation
    • BAC 0.15 to less than 0.19: 24 months license revocation
    • BAC 0.20 or greater: 30 months license revocation
  • Third Offense – Class G Felony: $1,500 to $5,000 fine, 1 to 2 years in jail, may be eligible for an ignition interlock restricted license after 12 months regardless of BAC, alcohol evaluation and treatment program, possible 12 month ignition interlock restriction upon license reinstatement, and license revocation as follows:
    • BAC 0.08 to less than 0.15: 24 months license revocation
    • BAC 0.15 to less than 0.19: 30 months license revocation
    • BAC 0.20 or greater: 36 months license revocation
  • Fourth Offense – Class E Felony: $3,000 to $7,000 fine, 2 to 5 years in jail, 60 months license revocation, may be eligible for an ignition interlock restricted license after 12 months, alcohol evaluation and treatment program, possible 12 month ignition interlock restriction upon license reinstatement, and license revocation as follows.
    • BAC 0.08 to less than 0.15: 24 months license revocation
    • BAC 0.15 to less than 0.19: 30 months license revocation
    • BAC 0.20 or greater: 36 months license revocation
  • Fifth Offense – Class E Felony: $3,500 to $10,000 fine, 3 to 5 years in jail, 60 months license revocation, may be eligible for an ignition interlock restricted license after 12 months, alcohol evaluation and treatment program, possible 12 month ignition interlock restriction upon license reinstatement.
  • Sixth Offense – Class D Felony: $5,000 to $10,000 fine, 5 to 8 years in jail, 60 months license revocation, may be eligible for an ignition interlock restricted license after 12 months, alcohol evaluation and treatment program, possible 12 month ignition interlock restriction upon license reinstatement.
  • Seventh and Subsequent Offense – Class C Felony: $10,000 to $15,000 fine, 10 to 15 years in jail, 60 months license revocation, may be eligible for an ignition interlock restricted license after 12 months, alcohol evaluation and treatment program, possible 12 month ignition interlock restriction upon license reinstatement.
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